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Yle to reform its television services

Kaaviokuva suunnitelmasta uudistaa Ylen televisiotarjonta
Kaaviokuva suunnitelmasta uudistaa Ylen televisiotarjonta Picture by: Yleisradio Yle Areena,Yle Teema,Yle Fem,Yle TV1,Yle TV2,Yle

Yle Areena will offer even more television content, while Yle will maintain the quality of its traditional TV channels.

Yle Teema and Yle Fem will share a channel slot on traditional television. On 25 October, Yle's Administrative Council approved the plan on Yle's television channel reform and on the development of the Yle internet player Yle Areena. The decision on the reform was made after a preliminary assessment - a so called Public Value Test.

Yle Areena will offer more, and more diverse, content in the future. More content will be offered in Finnish and Swedish. Through the reform, the content of Yle Teema and Yle Fem will also be better available on Yle Areena.

On traditional television, Teema and Fem will share a channel slot, with both having standard schedules for their programmes. Yle TV1 will remain the leading national channel for news, current affairs programmes and factual programmes. Programmes of Yle TV2 will place more emphasis on events, experiences and live broadcasts. The channel slot shared by Teema and Fem will have fewer reruns at prime time. More detailed programme planning will be started immediately, and the new channel slot is expected to launch in spring 2017.

“Electronic media services are facing major changes. HD is on its way, and more content is being watched online. By revamping our television services, we are responding to the changing needs of viewers and ensuring that Finnish people have the sort of access to television content that they want,” says Lauri Kivinen, CEO of Yle.

Impact identified through a Public Value Test

A Public Value Test is an obligation set for the Administrative Council in the Yle Act to assess significant changes in the public service of Yle. As part of the test, an open questionnaire was sent to market parties and interest groups, and the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority gave its opinion. The Administrative Council received 30 responses from different parties. A separate summary of these statements will be released at Yle's corporate website.

“We are happy to have received so many statements, and we have now made a thorough assessment from different angles. Being a public service company, Yle has a responsibility to to be a leader in the media environment. This, among other considerations, had a crucial impact on the decision made by the Administrative Council,” says Kimmo Kivelä, chairman of Yle's Administrative Council.

Based on the Public Value Test, Yle's Administrative Council sees that the development of Yle Areena has no negative impact on the market. According to the Administrative Council, Yle has an obligation to use different technologies and must promote the development and use of online services.

Yle's Swedish service will be improved. In the future, Yle's Swedish-Finnish content will be developed for traditional television and Yle Areena.

Yle is required to conduct an additional survey of how the needs of minorities and special groups will be taken into consideration on TV channels and on Yle Areena. In addition, Yle will investigate any legal questions and technical limitations related to opening Areena content more extensively, and it will find ways to resolve these questions.

Support for the execution of the Yle reform

The Administrative Council approved a proposal for Yle's financial and operational guidelines for 2017–2018. Operational guidelines will be re-assessed in conjunction with the strategy process, which is to be launched in 2017.

The Administrative Council emphasises Yle's extensive and diverse service, as well as additional investments in online services in terms of content, services and distribution. Yle will increase its financial and operational flexibility and use the funds allocated to it in an effective and transparent way.

In addition, the Administrative Council states, as part of the guidelines, that the Yle reform programme based on proposals issued by a parliamentary working group earlier this year will be initiated. The Administrative Council demands that Yle follows a sustainable employer policy in conjunction with this reform.