SanomaWSOY's electronic media sector, SWelcom, has decided to postpone the start-up of its digital terrestrial Movie Channel because of the numerous open questions still surrounding terrestrial digital pay-TV operations. If developments progress positively, the intention is to launch the channel in autumn 2002.
The start-up of terrestrial digital-TV has proved slower than originally projected. The availability of the MHP set-top boxes needed to receive transmissions has been delayed, and there are still a number of open questions surrounding the distribution of terrestrial pay-TV channels via cable-TV systems, as well as issues surrounding the extension of Finland's terrestrial distribution network to cover the entire country.
"We see autumn 2002 as a better time for launching digital terrestrial pay-TV in Finland. The DVB-MHP-based set-top boxes needed for our planned Movie Channel will only be available at the earliest in autumn 2002," according to SWelcom's President, Tapio Kallioja.
"We continue to believe that digital-TV will replace analogue transmissions during the early 2010s, and SWelcom remains firmly committed to promoting the development of digital-TV in Finland."
The terrestrial digital transmissions of SWelcom's national TV channel, Nelonen, started as planned on August 27. During 2002, SWelcom will focus on developing Nelonen's digital dimension, distributing digital channels through Helsinki Television's cable system, and developing MHP-based applications. SWelcom also has a holding in a new sports channel, Urheilukanava.
Vice President, Investor Relations and Group Communications
DISTRIBUTION: Helsinki Exchanges, Principal media