News / 24.01.2011

Finns still love their television

The study commissioned by the major media houses announced here Thursday found that of the 1,006 respondents, nearly 40 per cent of Finns preferred television while 32 per cent said they preferred the Internet as their most favoured medium. Eighteen per cent preferred the print media while a mere 10 per cent chose radio as their preferred medium.

So in spite of the growing popularity of the internet, widely predicted to oversee the demise of television – the internet is the most preferred medium among Finns of less than 35 years – the study reveals that television is not going to disappear from Finnish living rooms anytime soon.

But the study is rather inconsistent with earlier media surveys in recent times. Last year, according to a survey done by the Finnish Newspaper Association, Finnish people value online services of newspapers more than the internet per se. Two years ago according to an YLE survey, Finnish people trusted YLE’s television news most but, also found that newspapers were the most reliable single source of news among newspaper subscribers. Yet another study in 2008 by the Association of Newspapers reported that Finnish people value newspapers more than all other media.

This has led Teemu Luukka, writing in the daily Helsing Sanomat to conclude that “in media surveys as in all other surveys it depends on what is asked and how it is asked”.

However, a crucial revelation in the study is that domestic television programmes are more popular among Finns than foreign ones. Eighty-four of the respondents were of the opinion that domestic programmes should not be scaled back. This led Pekka Karhuvaara, Director General of MTV3 to demand that parliament – where the study was announced – should not fall into auctioning television licenses  because that would make Finnish broadcasting unable to compete with foreign media giants.

“We would have no possibility in auction other than to pay more than foreign companies or go out of business”, he warned.

YLE produced the bulk of domestic production last year, accounting for 46 per cent of total production.

Director General of YLE Lauri Kivinen hinted late last year that the state broadcaster will invest more in domestic production and purchases which consumes 15 per cent of the company’s budget.

Linus Atarah

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