Spain: new tax to finance public broadcasters?

Iñaki Ferreras

Spain’s government wants to tax private broadcasters an extra 3% in order to finance the shortfall in public broadcasters’ budgets following the proposal to cut down on advertising on public service TV.

This tax would be dedicated to compensate the total cessation of advertising on Televisión Española (TVE). It would be in addition to the 5% the private TV channels are obliged to pay to the production of Spanish- and European-produced films and TV movies. The new tax could be worth some €400 million a year.

At the beginning of Spain's government announcement some sources had said the compensation for the reduction of advertising in the public national broadcaster could come from the implementation of a yearly tax on TV sets per family. In France for example that tax amounts to €150 a year.

But should the suggested way of financing RTVE be put into action, the broadcaster could cease accepting advertising totally and would not have to increase the State's subsidies, now €500 million.