Public Service Media, Public broadcasting tax
Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle) is Finland's national public service broadcasting company. Yle operates four national television channels as well as six radio channels and services complemented by over 20 regional radio programmes.
In 2014, Yle's share of daily television viewing was 44 per cent. Yle Radio Suomi also kept its position as dominant market leader and Yle's radio listening was 52 per cent. Yle programmes and content reach 100 per cent of Finnish people yearly.
The company is 99.9 per cent state-owned and supervised by an Administrative Council appointed by Parliament, and operates under the Act on Yleisradio Oy.
The company is responsible for the provision of comprehensive television and radio programming with the related additional and extra services for all citizens under equal conditions. These and other content services related to public service may be provided in all telecommunications networks. The public service programming shall in particular:
1. Support democracy and everyone’s opportunity to participate by providing a wide variety of information, opinions and debates as well as opportunities to interact;
2. Produce, create, develop and maintain Finnish culture, art and inspiring entertainment;
3. Take educational and equality aspects into consideration in the programmes, provide an opportunity to learn and study, give focus on programming for children and young people, and offer devotional programmes;
4. Treat in its broadcasting Finnish-speaking and Swedish-speaking citizens on equal grounds and produce services in the Sami, Romany, and sign languages as well as, where applicable, in the languages of other language groups in the country;
5. Support tolerance and multiculturalism and provide programming for minority and special groups;
6. Promote cultural interaction and provide programming directed abroad; and
7. Broadcast official announcements, for which further provisions shall be issued by decree, and make provisions for television and radio broadcasting in exceptional circumstances.
As a strong public service radio and television company, Yle contributes to the fact that, year after year, Finland is one of the leading countries in respect of freedom of the press and freedom of expression.
Diversity, diversity of expression, equality, access to information and culture as well as financial independence are critical for ensuring democracy. Democracy for its part is a basic requirement for human rights, freedom of expression and sustainable development as well as for social peace.
In all of its operations, Yle must support opportunities for everyone to be engaged by providing diverse information, opinions and discussion as well as opportunities for interaction. Yle must also produce, create, develop and preserve domestic culture, art and stimulating entertainment. In addition, Yle’s programming takes into account cultural and equality perspectives, learning and opportunities for personal development. All of these are significant dimensions in a diverse media arena.According to a resent study made by the Reuters institute for the study of journalism at Oxford University, YLE had embraced constant change and developed strong social media strategies. According to study YLE together with BBC has managed to attract online audiences more in keeping with their established offline reach than their European counterparts.
The role of a public service broadcaster is to provide services to citizens on equal terms. Changes in the media and society are challenging public service companies throughout Europe. Many countries have examined or are examining the roles, funding and oversight of public service broadcasters.
This process is currently on going also in Finland.
YLE's total budget is approximately 500 million € annually. Yle's operations are financed by Public broadcasting tax which replaced TV licenses at the beginning of 2013. The maximum amount of this tax is €143 per year.
YLE's financing model and role in the national media landscape is under evaluation at the moment. The Parlamentary working group will give its opinion on the matter at the end of June 2016.