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EC rules against RTVE funding plan

The European Commission has ruled that Spain’s new funding proposals for public broadcaster RTVE is illegal.

The Spanish government announced earlier this year that it planned to abolish advertising on the state broadcaster and replace this reduced income by applying a tax on TV and telecoms operators. It had hoped to charge commercial free-to-air broadcasters 3% of their annual revenues, pay TV broadcasters 1.5% and telcos 0.9% to finance the broadcaster. However, the European Commission launched an investigation of the new proposals in March and has now ruled illegal. It noted that it does not object to changes in the funding system as such but does not believe that the plan to introduce a levy for telcos complies with European Union law.