Media supervision

FICORA supervises advertising, sponsorship and product placement in television and radio operations, as well as in video-on-demand services. In addition, FICORA supervises that television operators carry out audio-subtitling and subtitling services in accordance with provisions and comply with their obligation to broadcast the required amount of European works and independent productions, in accordance with the legislation.

Television and radio operators and video-on-demand service providers

The regulation of television and radio broadcasting applies, among others, to

  • right to carry out television and radio broadcasting (when a licence is required)
  • implementation of marketing
  • quota for European and independent European production.

Video-on-demand service means a service provided for the viewing of audiovisual programmes on the basis of a catalogue of programmes. Examples of these services are certain services provided by Finnish television channels. Programmes broadcast by the channels can be watched in these services, primarily afterwards.

The regulation is only applied to

  • television operators established in Finland
  • video-on-demand service providers established in Finland, and
  • radio broadcasting if a radio frequency granted by Finland or a distribution network established in Finland is used in the operations.

The operator is deemed to be established in Finland if the operator has its head office in Finland and if the decisions about the programming schedule or the catalogue of programmes are made in Finland. Audiovisual content services established in other countries are supervised in the country where the services are provided.

Decree on Television and Radio Operations, sections 1 and 2 (1245/2014) (in Finnish)

Countries of establishment

The requirement for the applicability of the regulation is the economic purpose of the operations. This means, firstly, the operations with which profit from business operations is pursued. The Finnish Broadcasting Company also provides audiovisual services for economic purposes because the operations are carried out as a company. Websites of private persons can contain audiovisual content. Private persons can provide videos to others via different video platform services on the internet. Videos provided by private persons do not fall within FICORA's supervision responsibilities if they are provided for recreational purposes, for example when persons interested in a certain subject exchange information with each other.

The regulation concerning television and radio operations is not applied to

  • operations where the audiovisual content services or radio transmissions may be received only in an educational unit, a hospital, a hotel or similar establishment
  • temporary radio broadcasting operations that is implemented by means of freely propagating radio waves and a radio transmitter not exceeding 50 watt and that lasts no longer than three months
  • services where the provision of audiovisual content with regard to the amount of programmes or repetitiveness of broadcasts is merely incidental and not its principal purpose (e.g. occasional provision of videos on websites of private persons)
  • electronic versions of newspapers and magazines

In addition, the application of provisions includes restrictions if the operations are carried out only by virtue of a short-term licence or in a mobile television network.

Targets for the supervision

Examples of the targets for FICORA's supervision are

  • marketing on television and radio, and in video-on-demand services
  • implementation of audio-subtitling and subtitling services
  • shares of European and independent European production of the programming

Supervision of marketing

FICORA supervises marketing on television and radio, and in video-on-demand services. By commissioning surveys on a regular basis, FICORA monitors whether the marketing fulfils the obligations imposed on it with regard to, among others, the recognisability, duration and placement of advertising.

Surveys on advertising time 

Radio surveys

FICORA actively discusses about advertising and related rules and principles with players in the communications sector. If necessary, FICORA issues opinions concerning provisions on marketing.

Guidelines on the duration and placement of advertising (in Finnish)

Opinion on the use of split screen technique in advertising (in Finnish)

FICORA does not supervise advertising content. Responsible for the supervision is the link:Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority .

FICORA may issue opinions on the advertising in programmes either on its own initiative or on the basis of the requests for action made by citizens. Decisions can concern, for example

  • informing of product placement
  • ways of implementing product placement
  • informing of sponsorship
  • content of sponsor identifiers
  • duration and placement of advertising breaks in single programmes or movies

Supervision decisions

Supervision of audio-subtitling and subtitling services

FICORA supervises that television operators carry out audio-subtitling and subtitling services in accordance with statutes. The statutes concern programmes of the Finnish Broadcasting Company and commercial channels MTV3, Nelonen and Fox.

FICORA regularly collects from television operators information on the volume of audio-subtitling and subtitling services on the channels and checks that the volume meets the imposed requirements.

Supervision decisions 

Supervision of programme shares of European and independent European production

FICORA supervises that television broadcasters comply with their obligations and broadcast the required amount of programmes produced by European and independent European producers, in accordance with the legislation. Each year, FICORA collects reports on the degree of European programmes and the volume of independent European production from television companies established in Finland. In addition, FICORA collects information on the measures with which the video-on-demand service providers established in Finland have promoted the visibility of European programmes in their services.

FICORA regularly delivers the collected information to the European Commission which, in turn, supervises that Member States have ensured in a sufficient manner the shares of European and independent production are fulfilled.

Key words: Radio , Television

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