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#140238 - 02/19/04 08:45 AM Radio & Television Tax
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
I came upon this list which I thought might be of interest to some our members. It's a comparison of the cost of a broadcast receiving license in various European countries. It was on a British website, so the amounts have been converted to their equivalents in pounds Sterling.

No. Country         TV   Radio   Radio+TV  

1   Iceland        153     66      219 
2   Switzerland    115     69        - 
3   Denmark        164     24      164 
4   Austria          -     42      143 
5   Norway         128      -        - 

6   Belgium        123      -        - 
7   Sweden         120      -        - 
8   United Kingdom 116      -        - 
9   Germany          -     37      112 
10  Finland        107      -        - 

11  Slovenia         -     24       82 
12  France          74      -        - 
13  Italy            -      -       59 
14  Ireland         58      -        - 
15  Croatia          -     41       51 

16  Poland           -      7       23 
17  Hungary         19      -        - 
18  Slovakia        13      5        - 
19  Czech Republic  17      1        - 
20  Portugal         -     11        - 

21  Romania          9      -        - 
    Bulgaria         -      -        - 
    Spain            -      -        - 
    Lithuania        -      -        -     
    Latvia           -      -        - 
    The Netherlands  -      -        - 

It's interesting to note that many countries still have a radio license. These were abolished in the U.K. in 1971.

Let me point out for our American/Canadian friends, that this isn't a joke. The authorities (at least in the U.K.) really take this seriously!

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#140239 - 02/19/04 09:44 AM Re: Radio & Television Tax
dougwells Offline


Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1226
Loc: kamloops BC Canada
A few months back I did hear a news report about something related to this. I am not sure if the person was a senior or had more tvs than they were supposed to have.

#140240 - 02/19/04 10:44 AM Re: Radio & Television Tax
C-H Offline


Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
I don't watch the state channels much and never listen to their radio channels. Therefore I have never felt any moral obligation to pay the fee, especially as I as a student have been near broke for years.

#140241 - 02/19/04 07:17 PM Re: Radio & Television Tax
Hutch Offline

Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 383
Loc: South Oxfordshire, UK
Officially in South Africa one had to show one's TV licence before you could buy a TV and the store had to record the licence number!

Interesting that Iceland is at the top of the list. I undertook project work there in 1980 and when rarely visiting civilisation watched an episode of "Tommi og Jerri" - luckly for me in this case language did not feature in my enjoyment.

In 1980 Icelandic TV was very civilised. They did not broadcast on Thursday - (sagas at home night?) and there was no TV during August - that's when everyone went on holiday, especially the TV guys.

Remember well a broadcast of Hutch on Icelandic radio that featured his dulcette tones describing an eruption of Mount Hekla that was quickly over-dubbed by an Icelandic translator - did I realy say that!

Made Radio 4 apparently - in English!

#140242 - 02/19/04 09:08 PM Re: Radio & Television Tax
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8532
Loc: SI,New Zealand
We ditched the TV licencing scheme over here in about 1995, IIRC.
There were a lot of people that were up-in-arms about this fee, which is in fact, a tax, as most of the collected monies, were used to pay HUGE salaries to our State Broadcaster, TVNZ and it's large horde of employees.
Recently, it was revealed that 30% of staff at TVNZ "earned" more than NZ$130,000 per year and 10% got more than $250,000.
The Licence fee here was $145 per year.
We gave up charging for Radio licences in the 1980's.
But, did you know that the P&T department of the Post Office (Postal and Telecommunications) used to charge us people on a per set basis and in 1979 I got a small transistor radio for Xmas (back when Xmas gifts were simple! ) and with it came a Certificate from the P&T.
This actually cost a lot more than the radio itself!.
Still got the radio too, so I suppose I've had my money's worth out of that licence!
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#140243 - 02/20/04 07:07 AM Re: Radio & Television Tax
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
The story you heard may have been when they finally decided to give a free license to those 75 and over. There is no limit on how many TVs you can have under one license, but there are all sorts of arcane rules ready to trap people when it comes to second homes and the like. Here's an extract from the official website:

TV Licences for your second home, caravan or mobile home

Second homes
If you use TV in a second home such as a cottage, flat, bungalow or any other permanent structure, you are required to have a separate TV Licence.

Mobile homes and caravans
If you or any other person uses a TV in your static caravan or mobile home and another is being used in your main home at the same time, you'll need a separate TV Licence.

However, if a TV isn't being used in your static caravan or mobile home at the same time as in your home, you don't need a separate TV Licence. In which case you'll just need to complete a declaration form (see below).

The TV Licence for your main address will, however, automatically cover any TV used in a touring caravan, vehicle or boat, or any televisions operated by their own internal batteries.

Clear now? It's quite ridiculous. I know several people who have a place in this area as their second home, and they certainly don't see any reason why they should buy another license for a place they use a few weeks of then year.

Have a look at the generally patronizing tone of the official TV Licensing website.

As C-H said, many people feel no moral obligation to contribute to the BBC, which is itself just another commercial organization these days. It's also seen as unfair that the money extorted by the government for the "TV Licence Fee" goes entirely to the BBC. No other broadcaster receives a penny of it, yet we are obliged to pay it even if we never watch the BBC.

Officially in South Africa one had to show one's TV licence before you could buy a TV and the store had to record the licence number!

The big chain stores here report to the licensing office when anyone buys a TV, VCR, or satellite receiver. Then if the licensing people have no record of a license in effect at the address, they'll send the usual intimidating letters.

To see how some people have responded, look at (This site has plenty of examples of the threatening and accusatory letters sent out.)

The correspondence from "GoodKingNige" to them is wonderful. He ended up playing them at their own game, and phoned them to tell them he didn't have a record of a shotgun license at their address and to inform that they were breaking the law if they had a shotgun without a license!

[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 02-20-2004).]

#140244 - 02/20/04 10:03 AM Re: Radio & Television Tax
djk Offline

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
The Irish TV licence fee is a lot more than that... € 152 per year. UK£ 102.31 at today's rates.

I suspect that table is a bit out of date / inaccurate.

[This message has been edited by djk (edited 02-20-2004).]

#140245 - 02/22/04 02:01 AM Re: Radio & Television Tax
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Something on the Internet which is less than accurate or up-to-date? It can't be so, surely?

The U.K. fee is due to go up to £121 in April, along with rises in many other taxes, thanks to the new financial year, which due to some peculiar historical quirk runs from April 6.

#140246 - 02/22/04 10:10 AM Re: Radio & Television Tax
Texas_Ranger Offline

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2332
Loc: Vienna, Austria
If I remember my dad cursing correctly it's €40 for 2 months, and you're allowed to run one big and one portable TV as well as one big and one portable radio on that license. Don't have to show it when buying a TV though. Never heard of any checks, but we do get the occasional TV spots or tramway commercials against "blackviewing". I think the last time they had a cute lazy dalmatian dog, some intranslateable pun, or at least I can'T figure out how.

yet we are obliged to pay it even if we never watch the BBC.

Same thing here. You've got to pay even if you don'T have an antenna, just satellite. Oh, and of course TV tax isn't included in the (rather hefty) cable fees... satellite is way cheaper if you have a place to mount the dish (some people would block up their living room window to have a dish in a small apartment...)

#140247 - 02/22/04 10:49 AM Re: Radio & Television Tax
djk Offline

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
We have to pay to watch BBC too. BBC Northern Ireland is carried on Sky Digital (on channels 214,215 etc) in the Republic of Ireland.

BBC NI or London is also carried on all of the cable (and MMDS) systems in Ireland meaning that most homes have access.

Part of our Sky basic subscription fee and part of our cable fees go to the BBC as payment for carriage.

ITV (usually UTV although sometimes HTV) and Channel 4 are carried on cable but not on Satellite yet. UTV seem to actively encourage viewers and carry ads directly aimed at the Republic.

MMDS is basically DVB-T carried at 2.5Ghz fully encrypted.
It evolved out of the older analogue MMDS systems which carried up to 20 channels in encrypted PAL using either Eurocrypt or Jerrold Cable Scrambling systems.

It was designed to bring multichannel viewing (particularly UK terrestrial tv) to areas that didn't have access to cable.

The problem now is that because we already bascially have a very developed established and commercially viable digital terrestrial broadcasting system. The roll-out of a normal DVB-T system, like Freeview in the UK, is proving difficult!

[This message has been edited by djk (edited 02-22-2004).]

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