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Gobierno de España - Ministerio de Hacienda y Función Pública
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Report on the Bill for financing the Corporación de Radio y Televisión Española

08/05/2009
Reference Council of Ministers

The Council of Ministers has received a report submitted by the Senior Vice President and Minister for the President regarding the Bill for financing the Spanish State-Owned Radio and Television, the Corporación de Radio y Televisión Española. With this norm, the Government completes the reform of the state-owned mass media and defines, in a more detailed way, the role which these media must play within the audiovisual stage.

This Bill develops the model for an independent and high-quality state-owned radio and television, which will be aimed at a majority audience and at the citizens' service, which is already in existence, a model based on the state-owned media, whose highest serving managers are elected by the Parliament and which has at its disposal enough tools for guaranteeing that the criteria by which it is governed are completely professional.

Thanks to this Bill, about which the Board has been informed today, and which has been widely discussed with all the players who operate in the audiovisual stage, the Government takes a key step for consolidating the system for financing the state-owned radio and television, with its immediate and final renunciation to the income from advertisements.

Total removal of the advertisements

As there was already taking place a gradual reduction of the advertisements in Televisión Española, and this was going to continue for the next few years, as it was envisaged in the Act for the Reform of the State-Owned Media and in the Framework Mandate approved by Parliament on December 2007. This gradual reduction had to be offset, on the one hand with the contribution of further public funds and, on the other, it was not capable of meeting the goal of significantly increasing the advertisement market share of the private mass media. The Bill, which has been approved today by the Council of Ministers, solves this situation thanks to the final removal of advertisements in the state-owned television.

Financing

Once this Act comes into force, the Corporación de Radio y Televisión Española will be exclusively financed with public funds. A large and significant part of these funds will continue being, as now, the contribution made by the State, through the General State Budget, due to the obligation to provide a public service which falls on the State-owned media. The remaining funds, which up to now came from advertisements, will be obtained as follows:

First, the operators of commercial television which operate at state level, or in more than one Autonomous Region shall provide each year 3% of their turnover. The telecommunication operators, also in accordance with the same territorial criterion, will provide, on their part, 0.9% of their turnover. Second, the Corporación RTVE will receive 80% of all the amount raised by the levy on the reserve on the state ownership of the radio and electric space which is regulated in the General Telecommunications Act. Third, the Corporación will have also at its disposal the income generated by its activities and the commercialization of its services and products.

Limits on the purchase of broadcasting rights of sport events

The Corporación can only apply the state funds to financing public service activities, and cannot be used for overbidding against competitors for rights on high-value content. In this sense, the Bill limits to 10% of the yearly budget for purchases of broadcasting rights of sport events, with the exclusion of the Olympic Games, as well as the Olympic Games for Disabled Persons.

Besides, the norm reinforces the public service dimension of the Corporación RTVE, stipulating the requirement of including in its programming spaces reserved for the political, trade union and social groups, broadcasts of the main debates in Parliament, children programs with contents and timetables which are adequate, and political discussions.

Progress shall also take place in the accessibility for disabled persons, and in the support and broadcast of European audiovisual production.

This is why this is an important norm which, at the same time that it strengthens the model of a majority state-owned radio and television, focused on the citizens, sustainable and independent, aimed at quality and success, it clarifies the audiovisual stage with a view to the very near challenges which we will have to face.



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