Advanced Television

Spain to impose RTVE tax on OTT players

June 26, 2019

From David Del Valle in Madrid

Spanish OTT players such as Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Sky NOW and DAZN – among others – will soon be obliged by law to pay the so-called RTVE tax to finance the Spanish public broadcaster.

The Spanish government is adapting into national legislation the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) which states as one of its principles the principle of equality among all operators. In practice, this means applying the same taxes to OTT players as in the case of the traditional TV broadcasters (Mediaset and Atresmedia) and pay-TV operators (Movistar, Orange and Vodafone).

The Administration wants the OTT players to pay 5 per cent of their revenues to finance European cinema and 3 per cent of the revenues to finance RTVE. This is a demand that has been frequently requested by traditional operators to guarantee free competition.

The government will regulate it bearing in mind the number of subscribers they have in order to avoid OTTs escaping payment as they report the revenues in other countries. As an example, according to El Español, HBO should pay in proportion to €40 million it would have earned for its 475,000 subscribers instead of just €17 million reported as revenues in 2017.

In this way, all OTT players will have to pay regardless of which country their HQ in located.

The regulation could be in place by the end of the year.

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