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Spain: Supreme Court backs RTVE tax

The Spanish Supreme Court has ruled that private pay-TV, FTA TV and telco operators must finance the public broadcaster RTVE via a government-imposed financial tax, rejecting various appeals against the law that was approved in 2009.

The ruling is in line with the decision of the EU Court a year ago when it came to the conclusion that the tax is not in breach of the European law. Following the ban on TV ad revenues imposed on RTVE, the Spanish Administration ruled the TV channels must give 3 per cent of their annual income to RTVE; pay TV operators must give 1.5 per cent and telco operators, 0.9 per cent.

The operators appealed against the law arguing that it was against the Constitution and the EU legislation.

As a result of the ad ban, RTVE lost around €500 million every year. To compensate this, the tax was approved and RTVE gets around €113 million from telco operators and around €90 million from TV channels. In addition, RTVE receive €342 million in state subsidies and €380 million from the radioelectric tax.

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