The companies that will comprise the future Sanoma-WSOY Group, i.e. Werner Söderström Corporation - WSOY, Sanoma Corporation, Helsinki Media Company Oy and Oy Ruutunelonen Ab, have today submitted applications to the Council of State for licenses to operate four new digital TV channels.

Quick start-up and the shortest possible period of transition from analog to digital technology are critical for the development of digital TV. A prerequisite for this is to create a service concept that spectators find attractive. The parties representing Sanoma-WSOY that have applied for operator's licenses want to play an active role in creating such a service in co-operation with the other candidates.

The applications for new digital channels are:
- Helsinki Media's application for a pay-TV movie channel
- Helsinki Media's application for a pay-TV sports channel
- WSOY's application for a national educational TV channel
- Sanoma Corporation's application for a local TV channel operating in the Helsinki metropolitan region

In addition, Sanoma-WSOY will apply for a digital TV operator's license for Channel Four Finland, and an extension of Channel Four Finland's analog TV operator's license.

Sanoma Corporation will also apply for an analog TV operator's license for the local Helsinki metropolitan TV channel.

The applications for the digital versions of Channel Four Finland and Helsinki Media's movie channel are based on the obligation of Channel Four Finland to start two digital TV channels as set forth in its present operator's license.

The management of an entire multiplex will be requested for the digital versions of Channel Four Finland and the pay-TV channels together with certain other pay-TV channels which are applying for a license. This management model will permit a dynamic distribution of the total volume of bits of the multiplex between the various channels according to the type of programs and the time of the day.

WSOY, Sanoma Corporation, Helsinki Media, as well as Oy Devarda Ab which owns shares in the two last-mentioned companies, will merge on 1 May 1999 to form Sanoma-WSOY Oyj.


Aarno Heinonen
Executive Vice President


Seppo Kievari
Executive Vice President

Tapio Kallioja

DISTRIBUTION: HEX Helsinki Stock Exchange, principal media

For additional information: Mr. Tapio Kallioja; President, Helsinki Media, tel. +358 9 120 4200 or +358 400 406 236,