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How are public broadcasts funded in other European countries?

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Earnings-based participation, electricity bill levy, end of some free programs … Audiovisual license fees At a time when the French government is about to close, France 24 offers you a tour of the horizons of public service media funding. Models in our European neighborhood.

After nearly 90 years of existence, the audiovisual license fee lives on in its final months. The end of the tax was confirmed by the Council of Ministers on May 11, as promised by President Macron’s campaign. The executive promised to abolish the tax from this year.

Every year, 23 million families with television pay for this contribution to public broadcasts related to 138 euros, 20 televisions in France, Radio France, France’s Medius Monte, TV5 Monte, Arte France and INA. His disappearance has resulted in a loss of 2 3.2 billion in funding for this public media.

The government guarantees that the end of fees will not reduce the means of public broadcasting, and wants to replace this levy with the current budget for several years. In other words, the vote, each year, falls within the framework of the Finance Bill [au Parlement]The amount set aside for public broadcasting “, explains Julia Cage, an economist who specializes in the media. In a report Exploring new forms of funding for audiovisual license fees. Of course, the draft amendment to the Finance Act (PLFR) introduced in Parliament in early July would include the abolition of fees.

For the researcher, this funding method would pose a problem because it goes against the “existence of long-term, multi-year funding independent of the cycles of the political majority.”

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To the BBC, which pays in the UK?

France is not the only country that exempts audiovisual license fees in the face of declining purchasing power. In the United Kingdom, the government of Boris Johnson, which finances three-quarters of the BBC’s resources, has announced that it will phase out by 2027. Several ways are being learned across the channel: British Conservatives can be allowed to broadcast advertisements and some things can be stopped. BCC channels may tax Internet access providers or charge certain programs or stations on the model of platforms such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, which can have a serious problem of equal access to a service audience.

Meanwhile, the British continue to pay a royalty of 15 159 or യൂറോ 190 each year.

Fees paid directly for public broadcasts in Germany

In total, 13 out of the 27 EU member states, including France, Germany, Austria, Greece, Italy and Portugal, will continue to use the fee, says Julia Kage.

The French are far from paying the maximum for their participation in the public service media. In Germany, it costs 210 euros a year, but the payment method is different. The fees are charged directly by an agency that completely controls the channels themselves to ensure complete independence of public broadcasting from the government, Julia Cage recalls in her report.

Another important difference is that all German families are liable to tax – not just those with a television set, as in France – but all Germans, despite the lack of television, benefiting from the public service media. These media listen to podcast programs or watch replays on their smartphones. Thus, France, like Ireland, Poland, Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina, has so far been an exception.

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However, more and more French people are using their smartphones, computers or tablets to watch the production of television channels, and television continues to be the most widely used screen, according to the Home Audiovisual Tools Observatory. . However, its share is steadily declining, with 91% of households having a television set by 2021, up from 93.4% in 2018.

Income tax in the Nordic countries

In Sweden, the fee was changed to 250 250 in 2019, with each Sweden paying a “public service tax” equivalent to 1% of taxable income, which is not tax-related. The most humble who do not pay taxes do not pay. While more equitable, the new tax allowed for an increase in the financial resources of public broadcasting, according to the Cage report, which invited the French government to explore the Swedish track.

Another Nordic country that has reformed its methods of financing the public media has imposed a personal tax on Norway’s income, which has “significantly reduced the amount of money given to the most humble households, while increasing the number of wealthy individuals, while maintaining resources equivalent to public broadcasting”.

Finally, Finland proposes not only to pay taxpayers according to their income, but also to “companies, legal entities, cooperatives, municipalities, savings banks, investment funds and foundations”. Note A Business Partnership There is demand in Germany as well.

Spain wants to tax Netflix and Amazon Prime

In Italy, license fees are included in the Electricity Bill, and advertisements represent a significant portion of RAI’s resources.

Spain has never levied an audiovisual license fee, but the public media has long relied on state funding and, above all, generous advertising revenue. The European Commission criticized it for not respecting it A mandatory 20-minute break between each ad break. But since the abolition of advertising on public channels in 2010, the country has struggled to pay for the media.

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The government has been taxing telecom operators for several years, but last year it backtracked and is now considering asking for streaming platforms like Netflix or Amazon Prime. Pay 1.5% of their annual income Created in Spain for national public broadcasting.

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