Yleisradio Oy, the Finnish Broadcasting Company. Yle is funded with compulsory TV license fees, so it is similar to BBC: a company protected by, but independent of the government. There are commercials only as short flashes in sporting events. Yle has three Finnish channels that actually broadcast programs:
- YLE1, from Helsinki, was the first channel (est. 1958) and is concentrated on current affairs, factual journalism, documentaries and also fiction such as foreign (mainly British) satirical shows.
- YLE2, from Tampere, was merged from TES-TV (Tekniikan edistämissäätiö, a voluntary association) and Tamvisio in 1964. More "popular"-type programming, i.e. sports, regional programming, drama, entertainment, etc.
- Yle Teema is the newest channel, founded for the digital switchover. Shows documentaries.
YLE also briefly flirted with the idea of a 24-hour news channel, but this was scrapped, and the frequency is used by a pointless empty channel that broadcasts live concerts and test image. In the analog era, each Tuesday on YLE2 was reserved for FST, a Finland-Swedish channel, but now it has its own dedicated digital channel.
Since 2007, all channels are digital, and analog broadcasting has ceased.
The content is sometimes interesting, sometimes boring. They produce programming themselves, like Kummeli, but broadcast also foreign and bought material. BBC documentaries are a prime example. They don't broadcast as much crappy American sitcoms as the commercial channels MTV3 and Nelonen do. They have also been broadcasting scifi.
YLE2 sent Babylon 5 in the right order, with a good subtitles. Thanks to them for this. This is different from what MTV3 did for Star Trek - episodes were in the wrong order, translation was crappy and there were commercial breaks.
Yle is governed by a parliamentary committee (in practice, the Finnish political parties). Yle was also known as a leftist medium, after the political appointments of Social Democrats, such as Eino Repo and Erkki Raatikainen, for Director-General. Currently, YLE maintains that they're impartial. Consider, however, the current Director-General Mikael Jungner, who was a political aide to the Social Democratic Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen, and also a former Microsoft director.