In 2015, the share of television over the Finnish media market, including Yle public service TV, was 28.4 percent (2015) or €1.1m. The share is nearly the same as the 22.7 percent share of all newspaper publications, dailies, non-dailies and free sheets. In 1997, the share of television was 18.6 percent, so there is a 10 percentage point increase as of 2015.
In 2015, 40 percent of households had at least two TV sets. Regarding the Finnish households, 56 percent had a single TV set, 29 percent two TV sets, 11 percent three or more TV sets and in five percent of households there were no TV sets. TV reception takes place via cable, satellite or the Internet in 59 percent of households and via terrestrial broadcasting in 36 percent.
In 2016, the daily TV viewing time of the population over four years was 2 h 52 min, including public service and commercial viewing: public service Yle with four channels 71 minutes, MTV (launched on 1957, since 2005 owned by Bonnier, Sweden) 42 min, Nelonen (Sanoma Media Finland) 29 min, Discovery Network Finland 11 min, Fox 5 min, TV5 5 min, and other channels a total of 9 minutes.
In 2017, there are four nationwide free-to-air public service TV channels, 12 nationwide commercial free-to-air TV channels and 23 pay TV channels. In addition, there are more than 30 local or regional free-to-air channels (Digita).
The public service Yle has four free-to-air TV channels: Yle TV1 (news, current affairs, drama, cultural and educational programmes, documentaries, comedy and movies), Yle TV2 (children’s and teenagers’ programmes, sports, drama, entertainment, current and regional affairs), Yle Fem (news, documentaries, children's programmes, culture, sports, entertainment in Swedish, often with Finnish subtitles) and Yle Teema (culture, science, learning, movies, documentaries, music, TV series).
Yle has a strategy on additional investments in online services in terms of content, services and distribution. According to the plan on Yle’s channel reform Yle Teema and Yle Fem shared a channel slot on traditional television both having now standard schedules for their programmes in the spring 2017. In the future Yle TV1 will remain the national channel for news, current affairs programmes and factual programmes. Yle TV2 will place more emphasis on events, experiences and live broadcasts. (Yle, About us.)
The two largest commercial TV companies have several channels. The biggest commercial TV company MTV, owned by the Bonnier group of Sweden since 2005, has three free-to-air channels: MTV3 (the first and biggest commercial generalist channel), Sub (youth, entertainment and fiction) and AVA (lifestyle, reality series, furnishing). The second largest private commercial company Nelonen Media, owned by Sanoma Media Finland) has four free-to-air channels: Nelonen (the second biggest commercial generalist channel), Liv (entertainment and lifestyle for women aged 25-44 years, ), JIM (entertainment and reality TV for urban people) and Hero, launched in 2014 (city dwellers of 30+ years).
Discovery Networks Finland, (SBS Discovery Television, USA) has four free-to-air entertainment channels: TV5, launched in 2008 (feature films, comedies, reality TV, series and documentaries for viewers of 15-44 years), Kutonen, launched in 2012 (sports, series, feature films, music for viewers of 15-44 years), TLC channel in 2016 (lifestyle, fashion trends, weddings, for young women) and FriiTV, launched in 2015 (feature films, documentaries and various types of series for viewers of 15-44 years).
FOX (Fox Networks Group) is the fourth largest commercial TV channel by audience (domestic and foreign drama series, comedies, infotainment, documentaries, lifestyle, news, children’s programmes). In March 2017, Fox Networks Group will launch an ad-based free-to-air channel of National Geographic, which currently is a pay TV channel in Finland.
AlfaTV, launched in 2013, owned by Brilliance Communications and with a Christian mission, is an ad-based free-to-air channel by a religious broadcaster (motorsports, news, commentaries, current affairs, domestic series, lifestyle, culture, music, documents, children’s programmes, religious programmes). A special feature of AlfaTV are Russian-, Swedish- and Arabic-language Christian programmes produced by IRR-TV.
In addition to traditional TV sets, people are increasingly using mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, to watch television programmes (Finnpanel). The company Digita broadcasts radio and TV programmes to all of Finland. Main bandwidth users are media houses, broadcasting companies and mobile and broadband operators.
Since 2000, the reach of television has decreased and the reach of the most popular channels has decreased even more significantly (Finnish Mass Media 2013). This is caused by the increase in TV channels and more competition from digitalisation, with people spending more time on tablets and smartphones than watching TV.
In 2015, the main generalist channels of the three biggest broadcasters, Yle, MTV3 and Nelonen, still garnered 54.5 percent of the total TV viewing of the population over 10 years. Yle TV1 had the largest share with 28.5 percent, MTV3 was second with 18.0 percent and Nelonen third with eight percent.
Of all the channels, including pay TV channels of two commercial companies, the total share of the three largest companies was more than 85.6 percent. The share of four public service Yle channels was 43.1 percent. The four channels of MTV3 had 27.3 percent and the five channels of Nelonen had 15.2 percent. The share of Discovery Network’s four channels was 5.6 percent and Fox’s two channels had 3.8 percent.
All three main TV companies offer online services for live radio and TV broadcasting and accessing past programmes online. Public service Yle has YLE Areena, MTV3 has Katsomo (Auditorium) and Nelonen has Ruutu (Screen).
TV usage data is gathered from two sources: Television audience measurement for terrestrial, cable and satellite TV and traffic measuring of online TV services. Public service Yle has YLE Areena, MTV3 has Katsomo (Auditorium) and Nelonen has Ruutu (Screen).
Outside Finland, Yle’s TV programming is available online at Yle Areena and the website Yle.fi. Copyright agreements restrict the showing of some programmes outside Finland. Nearly all news and current affairs programmes and documentaries, live regional and national radio broadcasts and a majority of televisions shows are at Yle Areena, subject to copyright restrictions.
The term 'hybrid TV' means combining terrestrial TV and Internet content, mainly online TV and extended programming information. Network operator Digita offers a system, which makes this possible by pressing a button on the remote control. The system is in an initial test phase.
With hybrid-TV, Yle’s online TV service Yle Areena is available on Yle TV1, Yle TV2, Yle Teema and Yle Fem. In the Katsomo service of MTV3, all free-to-air programmes are available on channels MTV3, Sub and Ava. The Ruutu service of Nelonen Media is available on the channels Jim, Liv and Hero.
In 2015, MTV made some changes in its TV units. The company sold radio operations to Bauer Media Group to focus on its core business. MTV news production was set in the newly established sister company Mediahub and a new video service was launched with partner companies.
Since 2013, Yle operations have been financed by a public broadcasting tax paid by individuals and corporations. Individuals pay 0.68 percent of their income and corporations 0.35 percent. The tax, €51-143 per year, is collected from each adult with an annual income exceeding €10,294. Those earning €21,029 or more per year pay the maximum. Minors and low income earners do not pay the tax. In 2015, a total of €508m was collected. Yle tax is set into a fund, which is outside the annual state budget.
Yle will be revising its broadcasting and online operations in the spring of 2017. Yle Areena will offer more, and more diverse, content. Channels Yle Teema and Yle Fem will share a channel slot on broadcast television. Use of Yle Areena is expected to grow substantially. On broadcast television, Yle TV1 will remain the leading national channel for news, current affairs and factual programmes. Yle TV2 will place more emphasis on events, experiences and live broadcasts.
In 2016 channel-by-channel results for TV viewing by top programmes show Yle TV1 firmly on top. The viewing data are gathered using panel research. The most watched programme was the annual presidential reception on Independence Day on 6th of December. The programme reached an audience of more than 3.2 million out of 5.2 million for the first time.
Another measure is programme coverage, which is the percentage of people watching a programme in the demographic group of 4+ years of age. The programme coverage of the Independence Day reception was 50 percent, with 100 percent equalling the total population. The share of total TV viewing during the reception was 88 percent.
Since the beginning of 2008, guest viewing and time-shift viewing have been added to the viewing time. Guest viewing means that any people visiting a sample family included in the research will also be registered, if they watch TV during their visit. Time-shift viewing is the viewing of recorded programmes during a week. The share of time-shift viewing on total viewing in all TV households is about 4 percent. In 2014, daily programming hours per channel were at the same level of 17 hours on all three main channels of Yle, MTV3 and Nelonen. The use of other devices than a television set for viewing TV has increased. In 2015, the share of households viewing TV on a PC was 47 percent, on a smartphone 16 percent and on a tablet 25 percent (Finnpanel.fi).
Internet TV, IPTV, is available in 775,000 households or in nearly every third TV household. Regarding TV households, 25 percent or 630,000 households subscribe to pay TV channels and 36 percent or 940,000 households subscribe to paid TV content, using video services such as Netflix or HBO Nordic.
In 2015, the largest cable TV operators and their share of connections were: DNA 36 percent, Sonera 28 percent, Elisa 19 percent and Finnet Association 16 percent. The total number of cable connections was 1.7m. The turnover of cable television business in 2015 was €192m, of which annual basic fees were 53 percent and pay TV fees 46 percent (Statistics Finland/Mass Media statistics).
Commercial pay TV channels are financed by subscriptions and advertising. In 2016, of the two main commercial TV companies, MTV3 had 12 pay TV channels: MTV Max, MTV Juniori, MTV Leffa, MTV Fakta, MTV Sport 1, MTV Sport 2 and six thematic sports channels under the Viasat brand. Nelonen Media had 12 pay TV channels: Nelonen Prime, Nelonen Nappula, Nelonen Maailma and Nelonen Pro’s nine sports channels.
Finnish cinemas had a good year in ticket sales and cinema advertising. Regarding the total mass media market in 2015, the share of cinema was €94m or 2.5 percent, an increase of 26 percent from €75m in 2014.
There were 311 cinema screens, 48,000 seats and 202 premieres in Finnish cinemas. There are cinema theatres in more than 120 towns. Per inhabitant, 1.6 cinema admissions took place. In comparison with 2014, there was a 0.3 percent increase in admissions, 17 new screens, five additional premieres and a 3,000 seat decrease in theatres (The Finnish Film Foundation).
There were 2.5m admissions to domestic films in 2016. The audience record of 2015 still remained by 4.8 percent. Admissions to domestic films were 30 percent of the total, which was second best in EU countries. Domestic films sold more than 2m tickets for the fifth time since 2010. In all, there were 8.7m cinema admissions.
The Finnish Film Foundation promotes and supports professional film making and the distribution and exhibition of films. The Foundation receives its funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture (Country profile Finland. Council of Europe). In 2015, the Foundation’s budget was €24.6m, the same as the preceding year. The funding has decreased by about seven percent since 2012. Public funding has given better opportunities for production companies to seek international financing. The share of international financing has increased to 28 percent of the average feature film’s budget.
In 2015, of all 202 new releases in Finland, 96 films were from the USA, 40 from Finland, 19 from the UK, 12 from France, six from Sweden and four from Australia. The remaining 25 releases were from 21 various countries. Regarding ticket sales, USA as a country of origin took 50 percent, Finland 29 percent, Europe 17 percent and the rest of the world four percent.
As an example of a Finnish premiere in 2016, the family movie Risto Räppääjä ja yöhaukka (Ricky Rapper and the Night Falcon) received the largest audience of 346,000 viewers. It was directed by Timo Koivusalo and produced by Arista Film. The total budget was €1.603m, of which production support was €800,000.
Second most watched was The Angry Birds Movie, a computer animation directed by Fergal Reilly and Clay Kaytis and produced by Rovio with 336,000 viewers. Production support was just €50,000. Third was Tatu and Patu with 320,000 viewers, directed by Rike Jokela and produced by Dionysos Films Oy. Support from the Film Foundation was €650,000 and the total budget €1.412m. By far the biggest commercial success was The Angry Birds Movie, which grossed more than €300m worldwide, was shown in more than 60 countries and became the most internationally successful Finnish film of all time.