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Streaming and TV viewing rose to 3.5 hours a day in Finland last year

The world ice hockey championship final was by far the most-viewed TV event of 2021.

Time spent watching TV in Finland has increased by 10 percent over the past five years. Image: Katriina Laine / Yle

People in Finland spent an average of 2 hours and 45 minutes a day watching local television channels last year, according to data from ratings company Finnpanel.

The figure increased to over 3.5 hours a day when considering total TV viewing, which includes cable TV as well as online streaming services such as Netflix and Yle Areena.

The average time spent watching television in Finland has increased by 10 percent in the past five years.

The 2021 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship Final match between Finland and Canada, which took place on 6 June, was the most-watched television event of the year in Finland.

The game, which was broadcast on MTV3 and C More Sport 1, garnered 2.3 million viewers. Additionally, over a million people watched Finland play in seven games across the tournament in May and June.

Other sporting events involving Finland, including three UEFA Euro football matches and the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, also drew an audience of over a million.

Watching the news appears to be a favourite pastime for Finns, as news broadcasts from Yle and MTV received a total of nearly two million views daily.

Music-themed content also proved popular among television audiences, with programmes such as Tanssii Tähtien Kanssa or Dancing with the Stars (MTV), Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu, Finland's qualifying event for the Eurovision Song Contest (Yle) and the Voice of Finland (Nelonen) listed among the most-watched shows of 2021.

Online streaming platforms gaining popularity

Yle TV1 was the most-watched channel in Finland last year, and accounted for a quarter of the overall viewership in the country.

It was followed by MTV3 and Yle TV2, which made up nearly 20 percent and just over 10 percent of the viewership respectively.

Half of all households in Finland have subscribed to paid channels or online streaming services, with the number of subscribers doubling over the past five years.

Netflix is the most popular online streaming service in the country, with 30 percent of Finnish households subscribing to the platform.

Over half of those aged below 45 access content on streaming services, while older viewers tend to prefer linear television, that is, traditional means such as cable.

Domestic streaming services (Yle Areena, MTV-palvelu, C More, Ruutu and Ruutu +) have also gained ground, with a third of Finns accessing the platforms last year—20 percent more than the previous year.

While TV screens remain the most popular device for watching content, accounting for 85 percent of viewership in the country, a quarter of people under the age of 25 now watch television on their phone.