Working group suggests support for commercial television news broadcasting

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 1.3.2017 9.18
Press release

A working group appointed by the Ministry of Transport and Communications suggests that support be provided for commercial television news broadcasting. The group proposes a temporary, three-year support programme that would be used for projects or to cover a certain percentage of the costs accrued by the production of news and current issues. Support could be provided to holders of public interest programming licences, that is public interest channels.

The group submitted its final report to Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner on 1 March 2017. The working group was chaired by Member of Parliament Harry Harkimo and the members were board professional and business coach Anu Nissinen, MP Eero Heinäluoma, and former CEO of the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE Arne Wessberg.

The task of the group was based on the proposal submitted in June 2016 by a parliamentary working group, which assessed YLE's funding and its role as a public service provider, to form a new working group.

It is the view of the working group that temporary support is justified in order to maintain the pluralism of the media. It would be a way to ensure that television news broadcasting that reaches a wide audience and provides an alternative for YLE would continue to be available at least to the same extent as now. According to the working group, it should also be noted that the audiences for commercial television news and current issues are partly different than those for YLE.

It is the working group's estimate that EUR 8 million should be reserved annually for supporting the news broadcasting. This would ensure that the extent of commercial TV news broadcasting would remain at its current level. The support could also provide a clear incentive to expand the present news broadcasting to include other actors too.

The final report states that no budgetary funds are reserved for media support at the moment. A possible support programme would first call for a political decision in the government discussion on spending limits.

According to the working group, a digital platform providing moving image news content for a number of different actors should be established in Finland. In terms of web services, the need for moving image contents is growing. The platform could benefit the entire media sector more extensively. It could, for example, complement the news broadcasting by the local and regional media and provide help for the media in the shift from printed to digital content, the report says. It could also safeguard the current linear television news services.

The working group report: Pluralistic news service requires actions. Report of the working group on commercial television news services. Report by the working group assessing the commercial television news broadcasting (Publications 3/2017) can be read on the Ministry's website


Member of Parliament Harry Harkimo +358 400 22 6666