Terrestrial TV broadcasting requires a licence
Providing a network service in a digital terrestrial mass communications network, that is, in practice, transmitter network operation, requires a licence by the Government. In addition, each transmitter must have a radio licence issued by Traficom.
A licence is not required if the operations last no more than one month and the maximum radiated power of the TV transmitter used for the operations does not exceed 50 watt, or the radiated power of the used TV transmitter is so low that the operations only cover a limited area. However, the transmitter must always have a radio licence.
Network licence for temporary operations
Traficom issues network licences for television network operations that last no more than three months and involve a transmitter with radiated power of no more than two kilowatts. One operator can have a new network licence for areas with even partially overlapping coverage at the earliest two months from the expiry of the previous licence.
Broadcasting in a terrestrial TV network requires a programming licence, which authorises the holder to broadcast programming or have programming available.
Traficom grants programming licences. Broadcasters can apply for licences at any time. Before granting a licence, Traficom publishes an invitation for applications to allow all interested parties to apply for a corresponding licence. If there is no sufficient capacity in the network to grant licences for all applicants, the decisions on programming licences are transferred to the Government.
Programming licence for temporary operations
Traficom issues programming licences for programme operations that do not exceed three months altogether or twelve hours per week without a public application process. Broadcasters cannot have programming licences for successive three-month periods. Instead, 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 operations do not exceed twelve hours per week, Traficom can issue a one-year licence.
Fees related to licences
A fee of EUR 5,000 is charged for network and programming licence applications. The application fee for a temporary network licence is EUR 1,000 and for a temporary programming licence EUR 300.
Programming licence holders pay an annual supervision fee to Traficom. Licence holders carrying out other than regional television operations pay a fee of EUR 14,000 and licence holders carrying out regional television operations pay a fee of EUR 600 for each television programme set referred to in the licence.
Under the Act on the Exercise of Freedom of Expression in Mass Media (460/2003), broadcasters must see to it that every programme is recorded. They must retain the record for at least 21 days after broadcasting the programme.
Applicants must indicate the premises for retaining records in their licence application.