Media markets and the role of the Finnish Broadcasting Company to be reviewed

Press release 03.08.2015 15.51 fi sv en

The Ministry of Transport and Communications of Finland has appointed a working group to review and assess the operating conditions of the Finnish media markets as well as the barriers and competitive positions in the markets. The group was appointed by Ms Anne Berner, Minister of Transport and Communications, on 3 August 2015.

A separate parliamentary working group will be appointed later in the autumn to examine the public service duty and funding of the Finnish Broadcasting Company. It will start its work in the beginning of 2016.

The members of the media markets group are representatives of the business and media sector and the group will be chaired by Mr Anssi Vanjoki, Professor from the Lappeenranta University of Technology.

Members of the group are Mr Kalle Isokallio, author and columnist, Mr Mikael Jungner, Managing Partner at the communications consultancy company Kreab, and Ms Reetta Meriläinen, freelance journalist.

The working group is assigned to explore the situation in the media sector in Finland.

"Strong and financially viable media benefits all. It is the society's duty to ensure fair operating conditions for the media even when the sector is undergoing an intense transition. The role of the Finnish Broadcasting Company must also be reviewed against the changes", says Minister Berner.

Several obligations and limitations have been imposed on media companies regarding, for example, subtitling, advertising spots, operating permits and copyright. The working group is to find out the impacts of regulation on competition in the sector and on the operating conditions of businesses.

The group is also to assess how public service, competition from the international media, and differences in taxation between the digital and conventional media affect the media markets.

The work is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015.

The assignment is based on a number of guidelines of the Government Programme that have an impact on the media and Finnish content production. To support these guidelines and measures an extensive assessment of the media markets is needed.

Parliamentary working group in 2016

The media markets report will act as a framework for the parliamentary working group that will start in January 2016 with a task to assess the public service duty and funding of the Finnish Broadcasting Company.

The task of the parliamentary working group appointed in accordance with the Government Programme is, firstly, to examine the extent, implementation and funding level of the public service duty of the Finnish Broadcasting Company.

Secondly, the group is to estimate the role and importance of the Finnish Broadcasting Company in the Finnish media markets. The third task is to assess the Company's importance in terms of democracy, freedom of expression, and versatility and independence of communications.

The parliamentary working group will be chaired by Mr Matti Vanhanen, Member of Parliament. Group members will be appointed later.

Mr Anssi Vanjoki, Working Group Chair, tel. +358 400 536 172
Mr Juhapekka Ristola, Director-General, tel. +358 400 788 530