Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Company is Finland's national public service media company.
Yle operates four television channels and three channel slots as well as six radio channels and services complemented by over 20 regional radio programmes. Yle also has the most extensive and varied online selection of television and radio programmes in the country.
In 2016, Yle TV1 was the most popular television channel in Finland. Yle's share of daily television viewing was 57 per cent. Yle Radio Suomi also kept its position as dominant market leader and 58 per cent of Finnish people listened Yle's radio channels weekly. Yle programmes and content reach 93 per cent of Finnish people every week.
Yle’s online on-demand media service Areena was established in 2007 and has managed to maintain and develop its standing, even in the face of increasingly intense competition. It is still the most popular and valued media service of its kind in Finland, as well as a global pioneer.
The public considers Yle to be a reliable source of news and current affairs. The company plays a major role in producing and presenting programmes dealing with national arts, educational programmes and children's programmes. Yle's services to the public also cover special and minority groups.
The company is 99.9 per cent state-owned and supervised by an Administrative Council appointed by Parliament, and operates under the Act on Yleisradio Oy.
What is national public service broadcasting all about?
As a national public service Yle is politically and financially independent. Freedom of speech is part of our values. We are owned by the Finnish people and funded by tax allocated to Yle.
It is important for Yle to get to know our audiences better and to be involved with their daily lives in a meaningful way. This goal is also written into our strategy.
- Yle’s role is to affirm democracy and culture as well as inform, entertain and educate.
- Yle is needed to support democracy.
- Yle produces value for society and for the Finnish people.
- Yle is an important journalistic operator in the whole country.
- Yle tax is collected specifically to fund Yle.
The company shall be responsible for the provision of versatile and comprehensive television and radio programming with the related additional and extra services for all citizens under equal conditions. These and other content services related to public service may be provided in public communications networks nationally and regionally.
The public service programming shall in particular:
- support democracy and everyone’s opportunity to participate by providing a wide variety of information, opinions and debates as well as opportunities to interact;
- produce, create, develop and maintain Finnish culture, art and inspiring entertainment;
- take educational and equality aspects into consideration in the programmes, provide an opportunity to learn and study, give focus on programming for children and young people, and offer devotional programmes;
- treat in its broadcasting Finnish-speaking and Swedish-speaking citizens on equal grounds and produce services in the Sami, Romany, and sign languages as well as, where applicable, in the languages of other language groups in the country;
- support tolerance and multiculturalism and provide programming for minority and special groups;
- promote cultural interaction and provide programming directed abroad; and
- broadcast official announcements, for which further provisions shall be issued by decree, and make provision for television and radio broadcasting in exceptional circumstances.
Act on Yleisradio Oy, Section7, Public Service (Updated on 10th August 2012).
Since 2013, Yle has been financed by a tax paid by individuals and companies. The tax is considered a media fee. Individuals pay 0.68% of their incomes and companies contribute 0.35%.
The tax (of 51–143 euros per year) is collected from each adult with an annual income exceeding 10,300 euros. Those earning 21,029 euros or more a year pay the maximum. Minors and low income earners do not pay the tax.
In 2016 taxpayers contributed a total of 461,8 million euros.
The Yle tax is collected into a fund, which is not included in the annual state budget. A Value Added Tax charge of 10 % is deducted from the gross amount.
The current financing model safeguards Yle’s independence and ensures that the organisation is financed directly by its owners, Finnish taxpayers.