Advanced Television

UTECA urges OTT regulation

January 23, 2020

From David Del Valle in Madrid

UTECA, the private TV Association in Spain, has urged the Administration to approve a new law to impose the same TV obligations on OTT services to put an end to a discriminatory situation.

Under the new legislation to be approved by the Government, OTT players like Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime, Sky, DAZN or Filmin, among others, will be obliged by law to pay the so-called RTVE tax to finance the Spanish public broadcaster.

The Government will be adapting the national legislation for the European Directive of Mass Media (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 of traditional operators to guarantee free competition.

The Government will regulate based on the number of subscribers they have in order to avoid OTTs getting away from payment as they report the revenues in other countries. For example, according to El Español, HBO should pay in proportion to €40 million it would have earned for its 475,000 subscribers instead of €17 million only reported as revenues in 2017.

In this way, all OTT players will have to pay regardless of the country they set their fiscal headquarters.

Categories: Articles, OTT, Policy, Premium, Regulation, VOD