Wider selection of digital TV programmesThe range of programmes offered on digital TV channels will grow. The Finnish Government granted operating licences for the new digital television network on 14 December. All the channels that received licences will provide pay-tv programmes.
Licences were granted to the following applicants: Discovery Communications Europe for a document channel, Eurosport SA for a sports channel, MTV Oy for documentaries, and Swelcom Oy for a film and series channel. The transmission capacity of a further channel will be divided between the music channel of MTV Networks Europe and the children's channel of Nickelodeon International Ltd.
A licence was also granted to Walt Disney Company Ltd for daytime transmission of children's programmes in the existing multiplex C. In the evenings the channel will broadcast additional sports programmes from the Finnish Sport Television Company Urheilutelevisio.
The Government considered that this overall "package" of channels and programmes best promotes freedom of speech, ensures diversity of programmes, and meets the needs of special groups of viewers. The programmes on pay-TV channels complement the current supply of ten freeview channels.
A total of 20 companies submitted applications for digital television licences. Most of them applied for a licence for one or more pay-TV channels. The Government considered that some of the applicants did not sufficiently fulfil the conditions for television broadcasting.
Digita is currently constructing a fifth broadcasting network (multiplex E). This network will be taken into use by 1 September 2007 at the latest, when Finland switches over to digital television completely. At first the network will cover central and southern Finland, and it will then gradually extend to the rest of Finland.
Mr Ismo Kosonen, Director of Media Policy Unit, tel. +358 9 160 28462 or +358 50 511 6601