RTVE tax: hard-up b'casters, telcos can defer

Iñaki Ferreras

Spain’s private broadcasters and telecommunication operators will be able to put off the payment of a new tax designed to compensate public service broadcaster RTVE for the cessation of advertising on its networks if they hit economic problems.

The government wants to charge a levy of 0.9% of total telco revenues (some €230
million a year), 3% of revenues of the free-to-air broadcasters and 1.5% of pay-TV system revenues (some €100 million in total) as an alternative funding source for national public broadcaster RTVE since it won't run advertising from September onwards.

This new model is completed with €330 million coming from the tax of the use of the radioelectric spectrum, €25 million coming from the commercialization of products and services by RTVE and some €515 million coming from the public money from the State.

But the new official law is creating problems in the national audiovisual and telecommunications sector, particularly in the current economic climate. So a new bill recently presented in Parliament that will be incorporated in the new law will allow companies to defer payments if they hit economic trouble.

Another modification of the law establishes RTVE is able to launch pay-TV services on DTT but only for electronic administration or similar services.