The General Tribunal of the European Union rejected the demand by Prisa TV to reject the European Commission’s (EC) authorisation to the new financing system adopted by Corporación RTVE.
In essence, the new model removes any kind of commercial advertising on the RTVE's channels and to compensate for this it obliges Spanish telecommunication operators to contribute 0.9% of their incomes and for private TV channels 3% of their income. For pay-TV operators such as Prisa TV's Digital+, it obliges them to pay 1.5% of yearly incomes.
In July last year the European Commission mandates that the new system respects European regulation over the State's subsidies. The Spanish government has had to defend at the European Justice Tribunal over the so-called telco taxes plus those applied to the private broadcasters and the pay-TV operators. The EC has yet to rule about the taxes imposed over the private broadcasters.
Prisa TV appealed against this decision before the Luxembourg Tribunal and at the same time it asked that the ruling was suspended until a final sentence was taken because it alleged it would lose market share in those markets it competes with RTVE, basically in the markets of sporting events and film rights.
Prisa TV calculates its contribution to finance RTVE is of around €16.7 million between 2009 and 2010. This sum of money does not seem to affect in a serious way its market share nor damage its financing situation and least of all its existence, according to the European Tribunal.