The operations of the Radio and Television Archive (RTVA) are based on the Act on the Legal Deposit and Preservation of Cultural Materials, which came into force in 2008. RTVA is a part of the National Audiovisual Institute (KAVI).

RTVA records radio and television channels digitally directly from the programme stream and makes it available for the use of researchers and others who need it. Programmes can be studied at customer points nationwide. Customers are served by the Ritva database. 

Metadata from the Ritva database is also available online:

The programming of the main Finnish radio and television channels is recorded in its entirety, and the remainder of the approximately 100 channels are recorded as one-week samples yearly.Recording began in 2009. The recording follows an annual schedule prepared by KAVI and approved by the Ministry of Education and Culture.

The Ritva database also includes the programmes produced in-house by Yle since 1957. CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd is in charge of the storage system and provides technical expertise in all aspects of the archiving system.

At viewing locations, users can easily access the recorded programmes and programme information through the Ritva database. All programme content is protected by copyright, so it may be viewed and listened to but it may not be copied.

In addition to off-air digital capture, some programme types must be deposited at the RTVA in the original quality as physical copies or files. The radio and television archive also holds materials on programmes broadcast before 2009, which can be accessed on request.