The Portuguese Association of Electronic Telecommunications Operators (APRITEL) has criticised the proposed increase in the annual tax levied from pay-TV operators.
The draft State Budget for 2022 provides that pay-TV operators such as NOS, Meo, Vodafone Portugal and Nowo will now pay a semi-annual fee of €2 per subscriber, or €4/year.
In a statement to the Lusa news agency, the secretary-general of APRITEL, Pedro Mota Soares, said that the association is “perplexed” by the proposal, considering it as “totally unreasonable and unacceptable, as well as illegal”.
He also warned that the proposal “harms any regulatory/legal predictability, essential to maintain investment plans in Portugal”.
According to the existing Cinema and Audiovisual Law, pay-TV operators pay an annual fee of €2/subscriber, of which 75 per cent is transferred annually to the Cinema and Audiovisual Institute (ICA), for investments in movies and audiovisual content.
However, the draft State Budget for 2022 now proposes that, out of the total amount collected from operators, 50 per cent will go to the ICA and the remaining 50 per cent to public broadcaster RTP in order for it to meet its “investment obligations”.
According to data from the National Communications Authority (Anacom), Portugal had 4.3 million pay-TV subscribers at the end of the first half of 2021.