TypeTerrestrial radio, television and online
(and also parts of Sweden, Norway, Russia and Estonia)
Founded9 September 1926; 97 years ago (1926-09-09) (Radio)
1 January 1958; 66 years ago (1958-01-01) (Television)
45.2% of Finnish television viewers and 53% of radio listeners (2010)[1][2]
HeadquartersHelsinki, Finland
Owner99.9% state-owned, supervised by an Administrative Council appointed by Parliament
ParentMinistry of Transport and Communications
Key people
Merja Ylä-Anttila (CEO)
Launch date
9 September 1926; 97 years ago (1926-09-09)
Former names
O.Y. Suomen Yleisradio / A.B. Finlands Rundradio[3]
Official website

Yleisradio Oy (lit.'General Radio Ltd.'; Swedish: Rundradion Ab), abbreviated as Yle (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈyle]), translated into English as the Finnish Broadcasting Company, is Finland's national public broadcasting company, founded in 1926. It is a joint-stock company, which is 99.98% owned by the Finnish state and employs around 3,200 people in Finland. Yle shares many of its organisational characteristics with its British counterpart, the BBC, on which it was largely modelled.

Yle was long funded by revenues obtained from a broadcast receiving license fee payable by the owners of radio sets (1927–1976) and television sets (1958–2012) and through a portion of the broadcasting license fees payable by private television broadcasters. Since 2013, the license fee has been replaced by a public broadcasting tax (known as the Yle tax) collected annually from Finnish citizens and corporations.

The main part of the Yle tax is collected from individual taxpayers, with payments assessed on a sliding scale. Minors and those with an annual income less than 7,813 are exempt. At the lower limit, the tax payable by individuals is €50 per annum, and the maximum (payable by an individual with a yearly income of €20,588 or more) is €140.[4] The rationale for the abolition of the television license fee was the development of other means of delivering Yle's services, such as the Internet, and the consequent impracticality of continuing to tie the fee to the ownership of a specific device. Yle receives no advertising revenue, as all channels are advertisement-free.

Yle has a status that could be described as that of a non-departmental public body. It is governed by a parliamentary governing council. Yle's turnover in 2010 was €398.4 million. In 2022, Yle's annual budget was about €560 million.[5]

Yle operates three national television channels, 13 radio channels and services, and 25 regional radio stations. As Finland is constitutionally bilingual—around 5.5% of the population speaks Swedish as their mother tongue—Yle provides radio and TV programming in Swedish through its Swedish-language department, Svenska Yle. As is customary in Finland, foreign films and TV programmes (as well as segments of local programmes that feature foreign language content, like news reports) are generally subtitled on Yle's channels. Dubbing is used in cartoons intended for young children who have not yet learned to read; off-screen narration in documentaries is also frequently dubbed.[citation needed]

In the field of international broadcasting, one of Yle's best-known services was Nuntii Latini, the news in Latin, which was broadcast worldwide and made available on the Internet.

Yle was one of 23 founding broadcasting organisations of the European Broadcasting Union in 1950. It hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 in Helsinki.


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (August 2017)
Equipment made in Yleisradio's workshop at the end of the 1930s intended for broadcasting the 1940 Summer Olympics
Yle's headquarters from 1993 to 2016, known as Iso Paja ("the big workshop"), in Pasila, Helsinki. Now occupied by the VR Group.

Suomen Yleisradio (Finland's General Radio) was founded in Helsinki on 29 May 1926. The first radio programme was transmitted on 9 September that year, generally considered the birthdate of regular broadcasting activities in Finland. Not until 1928 did Yle's broadcasts become available throughout the country. By the beginning of the 1930s, 100,000 households could listen to Yle programmes.

In 1957, Yle made its first television broadcast tests, and regular TV programming began the next year under the name Suomen Televisio (Finland's Television), which was later renamed Yle TV1. Television's popularity in the country grew rapidly. In 1964, Yle obtained TES-TV and Tamvisio, which were merged into Yle TV2. In 1969, the Finnish Broadcasting Company began broadcasting television programmes in colour, but due to the high cost of colour technology, colour only became standard in the late 1970s. On 1 May 1977, Tv-uutiset (TV-news) and TV-nytt switched to colour.

In the 2000s, Yle established several new radio and television channels. In 2007, there was a digital television switchover. A completely new digital channel, Yle Teema (Yle Theme) was introduced, and the Swedish-language FST (Finlands Svenska Television, Finland's Swedish Television) was moved from its analogue channel to its digital one, YLE FST5 (later renamed Yle Fem). In addition to these four channels (TV1, TV2, Teema, and Fem), a fifth channel, YLE24, was launched in 2001 for 24-hour news programming. This channel was replaced by YLE Extra, a channel attempting to cater to the youth, which was in turn decommissioned in 2007.[6] Until 4 August 2008, the fifth channel was used to broadcast Yle TV1 with Finnish subtitles on programmes in foreign languages (without having to enable the TV's or digital set-top box's subtitle function).

Logo history




Yleisradio's office building in 1968
Yle film archives

As of January 2014, all of Yle's TV channels except TV Finland are available in high definition.[citation needed] Former, discontinued, channels are Kolmoskanava, YLE24, YLE Extra, YLE TV1+ [fi] (2008) and YLE HD [fi] (2011–2014).


Yle's former regional studio in Tampere.
Digital services

Yle phased out digital audio broadcasts by the end of 2005. Three channels continued to be available as DVB audio services. DVB audio services were shut down on 30 June 2016.

International services
Former stations

Yle tax

Main article: Yle tax

Until the end of 2012, Finnish citizens paid Yle a license fee for the use of a television, set at 252 euros per year in 2012. The license fee was per location, which could hold several sets (e.g. in a living room as well as a bedroom). The public broadcasting tax, also known as the Yle tax, replaced the license fee in 2013. The tax ranges from 50 euros to 140 euros per person and per year, depending on income. Minors and persons with low income are exempt from the tax.[10]


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In radio, Yle was a legal monopoly until 1985, when local radio stations were permitted, and maintained a national monopoly until 1995, when national radio networks were allowed.

In the past, Yle has been seen in Finland as a "red" or leftist medium. This was true especially in 1965–69, during the term of Director-General Eino S. Repo, who got the position with the backing of the Agrarian League and President Kekkonen (a member of the Agrarian Party), as he was Kekkonen's personal friend. He was accused of favouring leftist student radicalism and young, left-leaning reporters with programmes critical of capitalism that demanded reforms to bring Finland closer to the Soviet Union, and Yle was given the nickname "Reporadio". After Repo resigned, he was demoted to director of radio broadcasting, on the communist-led People's Democratic League mandate.

Repo resigned in 1969, but according to Yle,[11] the "political mandate" remained, as Erkki Raatikainen was named director directly from the Social Democratic Party office. All directors after him until 2010 were Social Democrats. This was ended by the appointment of the right-wing National Coalition Party's Lauri Kivinen as director in 2010.

During Finlandisation and the leftist radicalization of the 1970s, Yle contributed to Kekkonen's policy of "neutrality" by broadcasting the program Näin naapurissa about the Soviet Union. This program was produced in cooperation with the Soviets and supported Soviet propaganda without criticism.[12]

Kivinen's appointment in 2010 received much criticism, as he was previously head of Nokia Siemens Networks, which had sold monitoring equipment to the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence, allowing them to arrest political dissidents throughout the protests in the fall of 2009.[13]

English-language newscaster Kimmo Wilska was fired on 13 August 2010[14] after pretending to be caught drinking on camera following an alcohol-related news story on Yle News. His stunt was not well received by Yle management, which fired him that day. Wilska received substantial support after his termination.

Yle has been criticised for buying many HBO series. It has responded by emphasising the suitability of series to channels with no ad breaks, citing HBO programming's quality and low price, and stating that American programmes constitute only 7% of its programming.[15]

Decision to close shortwave

The broadcasts on shortwave from Yle Radio Finland were closed at the end of 2006. Expatriate organisations had been campaigning for continued service, but their efforts did not succeed in maintaining the service or even in slowing the process. The decision also affected a high-powered medium wave on 963 kHz (312m). A smaller medium wave covering the Gulf of Finland region (558 kHz, 538m) remained on air for one more year.

Parliamentary question about shortwave

In November 2005, MP Pertti Hemmilä (N) submitted a question in Parliament about the plans of Yle to end its availability on international shortwave bands. In his question, Hemmilä took up the low cost of the world band radio to the consumer travelling or living abroad. In her response, the Minister of Transport and Communications, Susanna Huovinen (S) noted that Yle would now be available via other means, such as satellites and the Internet. She also underlined the fact that Yle is not under government control, but under indirect parliamentary supervision.[16]

YLE Gate 2017

The Council for Mass Media in Finland criticized Yleisradio for restricting news reports about Prime Minister Juha Sipilä's investments and business in 2017. The chief editor of Yle threatened that Yle would resign from the Council. PM Sipilä had been angry over Yle's reports on the Talvivaara mine and Ketera Steel (a company owned by relatives of Sipilä). Several reporters were barred from publishing stories about political connections between Sipilä and companies owned by his relatives, and state financing of the Talvivaara mine (Terrafame mine).[17]

List of YLE directors

Notable news anchors

See also


  1. ^ "Results From The TV Audience Measurement". Finnpanel. Retrieved 23 December 2011.
  2. ^ "Radio Listening In Finland 2010" (PDF). Finnpanel. 3 February 2011. p. 18. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 May 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2011.
  3. ^ "Ylen historia". yle.fi. 11 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Yle tax in force next year". yle.fi. 21 June 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  5. ^ "Yleisradio – yle.fi". yle.fi.
  6. ^ "Yle lopettaa yhden tv-kanavan". mtv.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  7. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20130801084401/http://avoinyle.fi/www/fi/liitetiedostot/Ylen_logot_kautta_aikojen.pdf
  8. ^ "Yle Teksti-tv". Yle. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  9. ^ "FSR:s mixkanal läggs ned".
  10. ^ "New YLE tax law causes mixed feelings". Helsinki Times. 4 July 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  11. ^ "Elävä arkisto - yle.fi". yle.fi.
  12. ^ Jukka Lindfors (5 September 2008). "Näin naapurissa". yle.fi.
  13. ^ "Helsingin Sanomat - International Edition - Home". hs.fi. Archived from the original on 9 March 2010.
  14. ^ Petra Himberg. "Kohuankkuri Kimmo Polska". yle.fi. Archived from the original on 17 October 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
  15. ^ "Why public service company wastes money on HBO programs? (in Finnish)". Yle. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  16. ^ Recollections of international radio from Finland "On the air waves from Finland". www.ulkomaanmedia.net. Archived from the original on 23 April 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2008.
  17. ^ Mitä Missä Milloin. 2018 Annual News Book. Otava 2017. pages 109 and 341-342

60°12′11″N 24°55′32″E / 60.203135°N 24.92549°E / 60.203135; 24.92549 (Iso Paja)