Finns have not shown much interest in watching television on their mobile telephones. A new working group of the Ministry of Transport and Communications is considering new approaches to mobile television.
Television broadcasts became available over mobile telephones In May 2007. At that time, the handsets were expensive and programming was scarce; YLE programmes were missing altogether.
Today, Nokia’s flagship retailer in Helsinki offers just one model on which it is possible to watch mobile TV broadcasts. Just two channels are available – the commercial network MTV3 and the music channel The Voice; Nelonen cancelled its service last autumn.
Pay channels interest telecommunications operators, but there is no point in offering content if there are not enough compatible handsets.
YLE: No Additional Expenditure for Simulcasts
Money is also an issue. YLE decided not to join the mobile TV scene because it did not want to pay the extra costs. Jari Lahti, head of YLE’s New Services, says that YLE channels are available to mobile operators, but that YLE does not want to pay for distribution costs, or separate copyright fees for the broadcasting of existing TV programming in another medium.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has set up a working group to analyse the reasons for the problems with mobile TV, and to ponder the future. One option is to focus more on video on demand services such as YouTube, rather than the simulcasting of television programmes.