Finnish public broadcaster YLE has opened a viewer hotline to deal with problems arising from the country’s move to digital broadcasting. It follows a significant fall in TV licence revenues following problems with subtitling on receivers for the new digital system.
A funding shortfall of €10 million has arisen following a decline in licences of 53,000 in the last 12 months. 30,000 homes have cancelled their licences with the remainder attributed to non-renewal. According to YLE director-general Mikael Jungner the situation is serious, but not catastrophic, given that the switch to digital has saved the broadcaster €20 million.
While YLE could burn the subtitles into the programmes, this would reduce the flexibility, by making it impossible to select individual languages, and develop access services for the hard of hearing. Many of the problems can be resolved by simply rebooting the set-top boxes.
Junger is currently taking legal advice on whether he can name and shame individual brands fearing legal action from their importers.