Television broadcasting licences

Television broadcasting is subject to a licence or a notification, depending on the transmission technology used. The Finnish Broadcasting Company's (Yleisradio Oy) right to public service television broadcasting is based on legislation.

All television transmitters are also subject to a radio licence.

Terrestrial TV broadcasting requires licence

Network licence

Television broadcasting in an antenna network, i.e. terrestrial mass communications network - in practise, operating a transmitter network - requires a licence granted by the Government. In addition, a radio licence issued by FICORA is needed for each transmitter.

A licence is not required if the operations last no more than one month and the maximum radiation power of the television transmitter used for the operations does not exceed 50 watt, or the radiation power of the used television transmitter is so low that the operations will only extend to a limited area. However, a radio licence is always needed for the transmitter.

Programme licence

A programme licence is needed for carrying out television operations in a terrestrial television network.

Programme licences are granted by FICORA. It is possible to apply for a licence whenever needed. Before granting a licence, it is announced that the licence is available. Thus, all interested applicants have the possibility to submit their application for a corresponding licence. If the volume of vacant capacity in the network is less than what is required for granting all the licences that have been applied for, the decision on the programme licence is transferred to the Government.

Short-term broadcasting

If television network operations last no more than three months and the radiation power of the used transmitter is no more than two kilowatts, the licence is granted by FICORA. A new licence can be granted to the same operator for areas with overlap of coverage, even partial overlap, at the earliest two months from the expiry of the previous licence.

If programme operations last no more than three months and the weekly operations no more than eight hours, FICORA grants the programme licence without a public application procedure. This means that the programme licence cannot be granted for successive three-month periods, but there must be a gap of at least two months between the expiry of the previous licence and the entry into force of the new licence. However, if the weekly operations last no more than eight hours, the licence can be granted for a period of one year.

Fees related to licences

A fee of EUR 5,000 is charged for network and programme licence applications. The application fee for a short-term network licence is EUR 1,000 and for a short-term programme licence EUR 300.

The programme licence holder is obliged to pay FICORA an annual supervision fee. The fee to be paid by a licence holder carrying out other than regional television operations is EUR 16,000 and the fee to be paid by a licence holder carrying out regional television operations is EUR 800 for each composition of television programmes in accordance with the licence.

Cable TV broadcasting requires notification

A notification must be submitted to FICORA of all television broadcasting that does not require a licence, such as broadcasting in a cable television network. The notification must be submitted before commencing the operations. The notification must include the following information:

  • the name, business name and contact information of the broadcaster or its representative and the domicile of the broadcaster;
  • the area where the operations are carried out;
  • a general outline of the programmes to be broadcast or planned to be broadcast;
  • the premises for storing the recordings referred to in the Act on the Exercise of Freedom of Expression in Mass Media.

Retaining recordings

The Act on the Exercise of Freedom of Expression in Mass Media (460/2003) prescribes that the broadcaster must see to it that every broadcast programme is recorded. The record must be retained for at least 21 days after the program has been broadcast.

The applicant must mention in the licence application the premises where the records are retained.



Key words: Television, Cable, Licences


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