MTV3 is a Finnish commercial television station owned by Bonnier. Until recently it had the biggest audience share of all Finnish TV channels when Finnish Broadcasting Company's YLE1 took the lead. The letters MTV stand for Mainos-TV (advertisement television), due to the channel getting its revenue from running commercials. Number 3 was added later, when the channel was allocated the third nation-wide television channel and it generally became known as "Channel Three" - Finnish Broadcasting Company's YLE TV1 and YLE TV2 being the first two - and also to distinguishing it from the later MTV Finland. The channel's logo is a stylized owl, changed to an owl's eye after an image renewal in 2003. MTV3 has currently about 500 employees.
MTV3 started on August 13 1957
, the first commercial television in Finland
, nation-wide commercial TV station in Europe. In Finland it was preceded by the regional TES-TV
commercial channel. It was originally known as MTV
with programmes broadcast on the two channels of YLE
. MTV was allocated its own channel after 1986, when Kolmoskanava (TV3) was born as a joint venture between YLE, MTV, and Nokia
. MTV3 was born in 1993 when MTV took over the shares of TV3 from YLE and Nokia and MTV programming switched from the YLE frequencies to the TV3 transmitters. The same year MTV Oy was admitted as a full active member of the European Broadcasting Union
In 2005 Alma Media sold MTV3 and its sister channels (MTV3+, Subtv, Radio Nova and a share in Urheilukanava) to Swedish Bonnier.
Much of the output of MTV3 is a mixture of Finnish versions of popular program formats
and of American
imports. However, MTV3 has also its own Finnish programming. For example, many of Spede Pasanen
's productions were produced for MTV3.
MTV3 did bring the first daily soap operas to Finland, by first showing the American The Bold and the Beautiful, that in 1990s became the most popular show on the channel. In 1999 the MTV3 started showing the first, and so far only, Finnish daily soap opera Salatut elämät.