YLE reserves HDTV channel
December 9th, 2009

The Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE has decided to reserve a new channel for broadcasts of high-definition television programming. The Finnish government is expected to make a decision on granting licences for up to eight HDTV channels early next year.

As the national public broadcasting service in the country, YLE does not have to file a separate application for an HDTV channel licence. Terrestrial HDTV transmissions are expected to start during the coming year. Cable and satellite services are already available.

Eight companies have applied for terrestrial HDTV channels. Among them are Sanoma Television and the commercial broadcaster MTV3. Applications are also now on file by MTV Networks, Urhotv, Family Channel, Discovery Communications Europe Limited, Viasat Finland and Turner Entertainment Networks International Limited.

The final number of licences that will be granted is not yet known, but the two multiplexes being made available have the capacity to carry 6 to 10 channels. Since the number of channels carried affects signal quality, it is unlikely that more than 8 will be considered. These first HDTV licences will be valid through 2016.

(Source: YLE)