Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spain: CMT opposes taxing telecommunications operators to fund the public broadcaster as being illogical

[Rapid TV news] Head of Spain’s Telecommunications Market Commission (CMT), Reinaldo Rodríguez, has come out against taxing telecoms operators to help fund public broadcaster Radio Televisión Española (RTVE), saying such a move would not be logical.

Spain’s government wants to change the public TV business model by cutting down on advertisements. One way to raise funds to compensate RTVE would be to tax telecommunications operators. The tax would be paid by internet and telephony operators as in France.

Rodríguez said: "Financing the public national broadcaster should come from the audiovisual sector and not from the telecommunications sector."

Last week some of Spain's audiovisual market sources pointed towards the possibility of the government implementing a yearly television tax, or a licence fee per viewer, set or TV home as happens elsewhere, for instance in the UK. But immediately after this rumour was proclaimed the government ruled it out.

As for the possibility that the government will reserve part of the spectrum currently used by free-to-air broadcasters for mobile telecommunications operators after analogue switch off from April 2010, CMT's president reminded the country that with digital technology capacities can be multiplied eight or even ten times.

Spain: telecoms head says ‘no’ to tax

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