Colombia changes annual fee for TV service

Iñaki Ferreras | 12-07-2012

Colombia is to change the official payment for its TV service to a fixed payment of 1874 pesos (about $ 1.05) per subscriber, rather than a percentage of gross revenues.
ANTV Commissioner Jaime Estrada, said in interview with W Radio Colombia that the reason to establish the new fee was that although the number of subscribers had doubled in that period, income in real terms fell by 20%. He stated that this money is collected to finance the operation of public TV, and that the Comptroller General's Office had identified three anomalies in its management of the National Television Commission.
These comprised not having received the income from renewal of 40 of the 44 licensees; underreporting of the number of subscribers in some companies and apparent under-invoicing in the statement of income for some companies.
In addition to the fixed fee per subscriber, operators must pay a contribution equivalent to 10% of the gross perceived, including the transmitted 'in their own channels.
The establishment of a fixed payment suggests a stimulus to the increase in the price of subscriptions, since its relative influence decreases at a higher price for the subscription. Local observers have repeatedly criticised the low price of subscription TV in Colombia (with the exception of DirecTV), which is considered a consequence of having to compete with the "community systems", which pay lower taxes and have no defined the actual number of subscribers.
Moreover, there are differences between the statements by operators and community systems to surveys of pay TV penetration in Colombia, which suggest the existence of a significant number of households who receive multichannel TV without being officially registered.