Advanced Television

Spain’s telco and TV must pay more RTVE tax

November 4, 2011

From David Del Valle in Madrid

Spanish telcos, pay-TV operators and TV broadcasters will have to pay more to cover RTVE’s losses. The Telecommunications Market Commission (CMT) has ruled that the funds already provided do not meet the approved legal taxes on revenues of 0.9 per cent, 1.5 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively imposed on those players to finance the state-owned TV company. Another €50 million is required.

Telefonica, which had already paid €106 million, now will have to make another payment of €38 million to RTVE to comply with the law. The company has already announced that it will appeal. Other telco operators like Vodafone and Orange will also have to pay around €10 million with pay-TV operators and private TV broadcasters also paying more. The satellite pay-TV platform Starmax HD will also have to pay a 1.5 per cent tax on its revenues as its appeal against it has already been rejected by the CMT.

In 2010, RTVE collected €1.140 billion revenues from state subsidies (€579 million), radioelectric tax (E250 million), telco tax (€187 million), private TV’s tax (€90 million), besides other €32 million from sales. The state-owned group argued that €64 million were missing in those funds and it appealed to CMT. Now with the estimated €50 million extra fund, RTVE claims that it will reach break even.

The Spanish telco tax to finance RTVE is under scrutiny by the European Court after the case was reported to the European authorities by the telco companies. Brussels supports their demand on the grounds that the 0.9 per cent taxes may limit their investments in networks and the provision of services.

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