January 1 will see Vodafone Spain cease distributing its mobile TV services – Vodafone TV and Internet TV, Canal Plus, Canal Plus Liga and VoD downloads, effectively exiting the Spanish mobile TV business.
A Government-imposed levy on telcos to financepublic broadcaster RTVE with 0.9 per cent of their annual revenues has led the company to suspend its mobile TV services to avoid paying the tax.
Around 100,000 mobile TV subscribers to Canal Plus and Canal Plus Liga and other 10,000 ADSL customers will be affected by the decision. Vodafone will compensate them by not charging December’s fee in the first case and by giving a free six month subscription to online video channel Wuaki.TV in the latter case.
Vodafone had to put aside €35 million a year to finance RTVE, six times more than the revenues the company earned for its TV services. Vodafone hopes that Brussels overturns the tax and if so, the company would consider resuming the suspended TV services.