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Finnish pay TV could be sexier if allowed or shows were found.

No, Eurocable deosn't serve all of Europe, but it can claim a European-wide first: it is the first pay TV service in Europe. No, Eurcable isn't base in London, but Helsinki, Finland. Eurocable also has the distinction of being the fist commercial TV service and the first private TV channel in Scandinavia.

Launched in 1978 as Helsinki Cable, the later renamed Eurocable is more closely identified with its roving ambassador, Sirkka Tarkiainen, who, in the international TV community, is much more well-liked than her last name. Tarkianene is Eurocable's vice president of programming.

Currently, Eurocable serves about 430,000 cable households in 10 cities throughout the country. In Finland there are 1.9 million TVHH, and of these, 590,000 TVHH are passed by cable. Eurocable is the satellite and cable-TV arm of the Finnish-based Sanoma Corp., Finland's largest publishing house. Eurocable also controls cable systems in Norway, Ireland and England.

In Finland, Eurocable programs three services: The Entertainment Channel, as scrambled pay-TV service subscribed by 20,000 TVHH in only four cities; the PTB Channel, a basic cable TV ad-supported service, managed by PTV, Ltd., a company of which 33.3 per cent is owned by Eurocable; and 11 imported satellite TV services such as BBC-Europe, CNN and Discovery. Eurocable's annual program acquisition budget is about $2 million, offering an average of $1,500 per hour.

The Entertainment Channel carries some 36 hours of programs per week, mostly acquired from U.S. companies.

The PTV Channel transmits 21 hours per week, of which 10 hours are produced locally.

All programs shown on Eurocable have to meet government-imposed content requirements, since cable-TV laws restrict violent shows and pornographic movies.

Nevertheless, Tarkiainen would be prepared to schedule sexy movies, but "well done, erotic movies are hard to find," she said.

Erotic movies are the kind of programs that skyrocketed France's Canal Plus into orbit, which Tarkiainen has in mind to buy in the future.
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Publication:Video Age International
Article Type:company profile
Date:Apr 1, 1991
Words:323
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