EC to investigate RTVE funding plan

The European Commission is to investigate Spain’s plan to replace public broadcaster RTVE’s advertising revenue with money raised by a tax on the revenues of commercial channels and telcos.

Under the controversial proposal, free-to-air commercial broadcasters will have to pay 3% of their revenues to support the public broadcaster in exchange for the suppression of advertising on its channels. Pay-TV operators must pay a tax of 1.5% of their revenues while telecom operators must pay 0.9%.

The Commission has expressed concerns over the legality of the measure, which follows the implementation of a similar plan in France, which it is also investigating.

French public broadcaster France Televisions, meanwhile, may further raise its advertising forecast for the year, according to French press reports. This is despite a partial ban on advertising on its channels in prime-time already being implemented.

The public broadcaster may turn in between €140-150m more than its full-year target, according to sources cited in the reports.