17 November 1999: YLE sells a third of DIGITA
YLE, Finland`s public service broadcasting company, is to sell 34 % of its wholly owned subsidiary Digita Ltd to Sonera, the national teleoperator. The deal is in two parts. Sonera will buy a 20% share immediately for FIM 180 million. YLE undertakes to sell and Sonera to purchase the remaining 14 % by 31st March 2003 at the latest. The ultimate selling price will be determined on the basis of Digita's cash flow.
YLE will devote the funds obtained from Digita for investments in the digitalisation of radio and television. After a decision last autumn by the Administrative Council of YLE, Digita Ltd was launched at the beginning of 1999. The Administrative Council also authorised YLE management to negotiate over the sale of Digita's minority partnerships.
Digita Oy is responsible for the national broadcasting and transmission networks and for the radio and television stations. It is also responsible for the construction of Finland's terrestrial digital broadcasting network. Estimated turnover in 1999 total approx. FIM 388 million. The company has a staff of approx. 400. Digita's principal customers are YLE, the commercial television companies MTV3 Finland and Channel Four Finland and the only national commercial radio, Radio Nova.
Source: YLE Communications
15 November 1999: Proposed act to stimulate cinematic art
The proposed act makes stipulations regarding funding for the production and distribution of films and other picture programmes and other funding for cinematic culture in the State budget, the Ministry of Education states in a press release. The act would make it possible for The Finnish Film Foundation to grant some of the funding reserved for cinematic art: production support for producers, makers and distributors of films and other picture programmes, and other funding for owners of cinemas and arrangers of film festivals.
Like all culture in Finland, film is subsidised with public funds. The promotion of domestic film production and its distribution has been delegated to the Finnish Film Foundation, which receives an annual appropriation of some 44 FIM (EUR 7,4 million) for financing film, television and video production and distribution. The sum is used to subsidise about ten feature films and 35 short and documentary films annually. Finland also has a Television and Radio Foundation, which supports domestic production to the tune of FIM 12.8 million (EUR 2,2 million) a year. The Film Foundation promotes film culture and the export of Finnish films.
Source: The Ministry of Education
14 November 1999: Alma Media focus on New Media
The Alma Media group is one of Finland`s main media companies.
The new media sector has been one of Alma Media's core development
priorities for several years, and will remain so, Alma Media states in a press release. For this reason
Alma Media decided in August to combine all its new media
operations into a new division called New Media. This year the
division's consolidated net sales will total approximately FIM 30
Net sales from the new media operations in the first nine months
of the year amounted to FIM 21 (10) million, part of which
- FIM 7 (3) million is recorded as net sales from network
newspapers under Alpress's net sales.
Mr Raimo Mäkilä, President of Alma Media Net Ventures Oy, was
appointed President of the New Media division and a member of Alma
Media's Group Executive Board on 1 September 1999. Mr Mäkilä also
continues as president of Alma Media Net Ventures Oy, which is
responsible for the technical maintenance, R&D and business
development related to the Group's network services. The
commercial and content projects of the New Media division have
been placed within Alma Media Interactive Oy, whose president is
Mr Jukka Mauno.
Alma Media's new media activities focus on portals, e-commerce and
e-classified ads. Alongside the New Media division, the parent
company is also actively involved in basic re in the field
through joint projects with universities and participation in new
media development projects. These efforts have already produced
intangible rights, for which patents are pending.
Alma Media is the largest Finnish provider of network services.
Its most popular network services are MTV3i, Iltalehti Online and
Kauppalehti Online. According to a survey performed by Web Traffic
Monitor, the MTV3i website had 193 000 visitors weekly, Iltalehti
Online 146 000 and Kauppalehti Online 30 000. Almost 400 000
people use Alma Media's network services weekly. Alma Media's
network services generated over FIM 8 million in advertising
revenue during the period, which represents more than 40 % of the
entire Internet advertising market in Finland.
Media portals in Alma Media are divided into three categories.
MTV3i plays an important role in MTV3 Channel's programme
marketing and programme information. MTV3i is a horizontal, or
general, portal offering news, entertainment, , e-mail and
other network services. Its content is also divided into subject
areas, to enable more effective targeting of advertising. During
the period MTV3i also launched its own Internet connection.
Kauppalehti Online is a business portal for people interested in
business and investment. Besides advertising revenue, a major part
of its income is also derived from content sales. Some 70 % of
Kauppalehti Online's income comes from sales of content and
services. With more than 30 000 weekly visitors, Kauppalehti
Online is clearly the most popular business portal in Finland.
The third type of portal consists of local portals like
VerkkoAamulehti, which offer high-quality services of local
interest in addition to national services and news.
Different network services can be combined in all the media
portals. During the period MTV3i launched a Finnish-language
e-mail service called luukku.com, which now has approximately
25 000 registered users.
The most popular media portals also function as platforms for
e-commerce marketplaces. MTV3i's website, for example, includes
ShopIt for e-shopping and eTori for network auctioning. Income
from these services is derived either in the form of monthly
charges or as a proportion of retail turnover.
Alma Media's electronic classified advertising is represented by
DIME for property trading, Autotalli for used car sales, and
Jobline for recruitment. DIME now operates in conjunction with 13
regional network services.
Last autumn Alma Media signed an agreement with Nokia to start
producing services and content for Nokia's wireless terminals.
Source: Alma Media
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