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Stiff Competition for Children's TV Audiences

The competition is heating up for television's pint-sized audiences, as pay television channels are offering an increasing number of children's programmes.

Children are being tempted closer to the television set to view more Finnish language or Finnish voiceover shows. State broadcaster YLE - the Finnish Broadcasting Company - is one of the organisations investing more in children's programming.

There's a daily audience for children's programmes on different channels. In addition to the Pikku Kakkonen morning programme, families with under school-age children can also take in cartoons offered by SubTV and Channel Four, although they are considered more suitable for school-age viewers.

The expansion of daytime programming aimed at remote-control wielding tots and their slightly older peers is evidence of the growing struggle to win over younger television audiences.

More than 150,000 family households have signed up for MTV3's pay channel since it was launched one year ago. Similarly the pay channel SubTV Junior will continue its programme offering, but with a greater emphasis on local content.

The Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE is also focusing on home-grown product, and children's programmes have been identified as a priority area for the near future.

Script writers will be turning out new Rölli and Pelle Hermanni shows, while the mornings will feature an array of new and familiar figures, to introduce a wider range of daytime programmes for the junior audience.

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