Our diverse programming in 2018 included major events bringing people together, influential projects, short drama for the young, investigative journalism, new experiments and international initiatives. The commemorative year of the 1918 Finnish Civil War was extensively featured in our programming.
- News and Current Affairs
- Children and the young
- Drama, factual, culture and entertainment
- On the radio
- The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
- Contents and services in Swedish
News and Current Affairs
In the News and Current Affairs operations and in the entire company, the greatest investments were the presidential election in the spring, the summit of the US and Russian leaders in Helsinki, the Winter Olympics in South Korea, and the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
We were the host broadcaster of the summit of US president Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin and transmitted the official image signal from the event to international and Finnish media companies. The special 16-hour live broadcast was viewed by 1.9 million people in Finland through Yle TV1 and Yle Areena online service.
The Finnish presidential election was among the most followed contents online, on television and on the radio. Our election coverage reached 3.3 million TV viewers, and during the election week, the election contents were viewed through 2.5 million browsers online.
We increased our investigative journalism resources, and during the year, our investigative journalists covered topics such as the use of power in the film industry, shortcomings in the security arrangements of organisations, the challenges of vocational education, and loneliness. These stories attracted lots of readers of all ages online.
In sports, we introduced the Live Areena service for the Winter Olympics. The service combined video, audio, text, data and interactive features online in a new manner. The Winter Olympics in PyeongChang were followed by more than four million people in Finland.
Audiences were also active in viewing the FIFA World Cup of football, and many people participated in Yle’s Futistietäjä game to try and guess the World Cup result.
Nearly a third of all TV viewing on Yle consisted of football in the summer. The large sports events, in particular, were our primary way of reaching younger audiences online.
We offered a versatile selection of domestic sports. We included E-sports in our sports programmes with a considerably increased broadcasts on our channels.
We signed new agreements on, among other things, the FIFA World Cup of 2022 and the broadcasting of the Biathlon World Championships and World Cup series, Finnish athletics events as well as the Floorball World Championships.
We continued our work to promote equality in sports. The sports news operations and events programming covered phenomena in more than a hundred different sports. The coverage of women’s sports has increased considerably in the news and events contents of sports, and gender equality has been covered extensively in different programmes.
Children and the young
We continued to develop the programmes and online services for children and the young. The number of users in the online services for children increased considerably from the previous year. The Yle Areena for Children application was used by 71 per cent of families with children under 7 years of age for viewing children’s programmes (2017: 59%).
We develop contents for children in cooperation with education and pedagogy experts. Children and families are also involved in the making of programmes. For example, children were invited to the studio to play and exercise in the Seikkailukone (“Adventure Machine”) programme, and in the Meidän luokka (“Our School Class”) series, school classes tested their team spirit and mutual trust.
The Mediapolis Creative Centre in Tampere continued cooperation with the Tampere University of Applied Sciences and students participated in the production of the Galaxin Pallo gameshow.
The second season of the Nörtti: Dragonslayer666 drama series about e-sports, targeting the young, was a success. The series was viewed over a million times on Yle Areena online service and more than 2 million times on YouTube.
Ransu Karvakuono, a dog hand puppet loved by children, celebrated his 40th anniversary. Ransu’s first appearance on the Pikku Kakkonen children’s magazine type programme took place on 4 October 1978.
Drama, factual, culture and entertainment
During the year, the drama, factual, culture and entertainment programming included large community-oriented events, influential projects and customised contents for various age groups which applied new narrative methods and publishing formats.
Among the largest events of the year were the UMK18 New Music Contest and the Eurovision Song Contest, as well as the Red Nose Day charity campaign. The UMK and Eurovision song contests reached millions of viewers on Yle Areena, the yle.fi website and television. In connection with the Red nose charity campaign, the YleX youth channel organised an live interactive Naurumaraton broadcast, which raised more than EUR 100,000 for the campaign.
We realised the Sekasin campaign against the marginalisation of young men. The episodes of the drama series included in the campaign have been viewed more than 1.2 million times. The campaign enabled us to reach nearly 10,000 young people, who were given the opportunity to talk about their concerns and wishes. After the project ended, mental health professionals decided to continue the valuable work.
New projects that promoted audience activity and involvement also included the Nettiä ikä kaikki campaign teaching senior citizens to use digital services and the Mennään metsään project that visited all national parks in Finland and encouraged the audience to explore nature.
We also produced more content supporting media and digital skills as part of the diverse online service for learning. The module supporting media education and digital skills targets people of all ages, and contents have been designed in cooperation with several providers of media education.
The factual contents focused on current phenomena, depicting modern-day Finland and journalism providing in-depth information. The documentary series Tehtaan sankarit–onnea etsimässä described to the public the daily life in modern-day Finland and the life of working men and women who have to relocate due to work.
The most viewed documentary series of the year included Elossa24 with touching stories from health care, Kandit on young veterinaries’ work, Eränkävijät on hunting and fishing in Finland and Naissotilaat on Finnish women in military service.
The Tarinanmetsästäjät drama introduced ten cities in different parts of Finland through fiction. The Donna (Blind Donna) drama comedy featuring a vision-impaired young woman and her circle of friends and family received an award at the MipCom event in Cannes for promoting diversity.
The Finnish comedy series Pirjo was a hit on Yle Areena online service: during the year, it was viewed nearly 3.5 million times.
The Tuntematon sotilas TV serial directed by Aku Louhimies (Unknown soldiers, based on the Finnish war novel by Väinö Linna) was also viewed by millions on TV and Yle Areena.
On the radio
On the radio, the musical Itkisitkö onnesta –Tarina Gösta Sundqvistista, on the life and songs of the late musician Gösta Sundqvist was the listeners’ favourite in the summer.
The 62-episode series Pyhiä Juutalaisia kirjoituksia on scriptures of Judaism was a continuation of the 2015 series Koraani covering the Quran. Each episode included discussions providing cultural, religious and historic background information and perspective on the scriptures.
As in previous years, we broadcast live or recorded concerts by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and from music contests as well as the Tangomarkkinat Festival in Seinäjoki and pop and jazz festivals. We broadcast live a total of one hundred classical music concerts, of which 40 were also shown live on Yle Areena online service.
Audiences spent nearly 20 per cent more time than in the previous year with the KulttuuriCocktail programme focusing on the online journalism of culture and entertainment. The Kaverin puolesta kyselen, hilarious programme on embarrassing questions, was one of the most popular podcasts in Finland.
The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (FRSO) commissioned and performed Finnish music extensively in 2018. The pieces commissioned by FRSO included works by Perttu Haapanen, Magnus Lindberg and Sebastian Hill. FRSO also participated in the production of the Prix Italia-winning radio opera Kylmän maan kuningatar (Queen of the Cold Land), composed by Riikka Talvitie.
We broadcast FRSO’s concerts on all media, and each concert reached a minimum of 150,000–200,000 listeners.
The occupancy rate of the concert hall of the Helsinki Music Centre was 97 per cent in FRSO’s concerts. Recordings by the orchestra have received the recognised International Classical Music Award and The Gramophone Award.
Contents and services in Swedish
In Swedish-language contents and services, we focused specifically on reaching the under 45 age group by strengthening our programming on the svenska.yle.fi website and in the Yle Arenan Swedish-language online service. Yle Arenan has strengthened its position and currently reaches more than 47 per cent of Swedish-speaking Finns (2017: 43 per cent).
On the radio, reforms of the Yle Vega channel targeting Swedish-speaking grown-ups continued. We launched the Lux music programme and several podcast series.
The Swedish-language youth channel Yle X3M focuses increasingly on online programming and Yle Arenan will be the channel’s primary broadcasting platform. The channel’s most popular programme, the X3M Morgon morning broadcast, was renewed and changed hosts in the autumn.
For television viewers, Yle Fem offered a diverse selection of Swedish-language contents. We broadcast Swedish-language programmes in other Yle channels as well. For example, the popular lifestyle programme Strömsö has been available on both the Yle Fem channel and on TV1. The programme had a record number of viewers.
The cooperation between Nordic public broadcasting companies on drama production has generated quality series loved by audiences, such as the Swedish Bonusperhe (Bonus Family) and the Norwegian Kotikenttä (Heimebane) on sports world.
A new concept named Piki-Buu, with safe and pedagogic children’s content in Swedish and partly in Finnish, was released in the Yle Areena for Children. The traditional BUU-klubben will continue in Swedish in the television programming. The Hajbo contents targeting 12–15-year-olds is also among our large investments.
The most popular podcast among Swedish-speaking audiences, Ted & Kaj, was complemented with ten new podcast series.