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Yle merges Teema and Fem TV channels

National broadcaster Yle says it will merge its Teema and Fem channels into one offering, which will also be available via its online service, Yle Areena.

Image: Anne Hämäläinen / Yle

Yle announced Tuesday that programmes previously broadcast on Swedish-langauge Fem and culture-themed Teema will be offered on a single channel, channel 5, from April 24. The new channel will be known as Yle Teema & Fem.

"Yle Teema and Fem are such strong brands that we wanted to preserve them rather than come up with a new name," said Yle TV and Areena chief Petri Jauhiainen.

Last autumn Yle’s administrative board decided to combine the channels to better address changing media usage. Jauhiainen said that merging channels is natural because separately they did not fill their respective tv broadcast allocations.

"It is easier to gather the most important content from both into one channel. At the same time the number of repeats during prime time will decline," he added.

New broadcast schedules

The change will affect the offering of both channels. The culture-themed Teema channel will air programmes every afternoon and five evenings a week. Teema’s evening programming will run from Tuesday to Saturday from 8.00pm.

The highly popular classic film package Kino Klassikko will air from Sunday to Thursday and music documentaries will show evenings from Sunday to Saturday. Fans of science documentaries can tune into to Teema on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

The Swedish-language channel Fem will get its turn to broadcast content on Tuesday’s from 5.25 – 8.00pm. However it will be on the air all evening on Sundays and Mondays, when viewers can look forward to Nordic drama series, crime series, films and documentaries.

Streaming cooperation with Sweden’s SVT to end

After the merger, the new channel will no longer stream content from Sweden’s SVT world lineup, however Yle will continue to air popular SVT programmes.

Teema and Fem will also begin to cooperate. Some Teema programmes will be subtitled in Swedish and a joint dual-language culture programme is scheduled to begin during the autumn.

From April, Teema and Fem will also have a dedicated channel on Areena, Yle’s online video-on-demand service.

"In practice, Teema fans will find all Teema programmes in the same package and can look at them whenever they want," Jauhiainen noted.

Yle said that it would try to accommodate changing media usage by ensuring that it publishes Teema content the same morning that programmes go out on air.