Replace fees with subscriptions?

In great britain and switzerland, the financing of public broadcasting is being debated

Over the weekend, the sunday times published what it said was inside information from a bbc-appointed panel of 12 experts tasked with guiding the public broadcaster into the future. According to the report, the experts recommended that the bbc replace the current usage-dependent license fee with subscriptions in 2020.

In response to the report, the bbc reported that the panel had not recommended a subscription model, but rather a license fee that would be adjusted annually for inflation. In addition, this fee, which is currently the equivalent of just under 175 euros, is to be extended to the use of mobile devices. This could be decided in 2016, when the next renewal of the royal charter of the broadcasting corporation is due (which is decided not only by the queen or the king, but also by the government and the parliament).

Before the report of the sunday times the daily telegraph had revealed that justice minister chris grayling and media minister maria miller do not want to prosecute non-payment of the bbc license fee as a criminal offense in the future. The plan is reportedly supported by about 100 members of parliament from all three major parties.

So far, residents of the united kingdom who watch television without a license face a fine of 1.000 pounds. Those who persistently refuse to pay may even face imprisonment. If grayling and miller have their way, only the civil courts should deal with such cases. Because last year there were 180.000 cases of "black viewing" were tried last year, about 10 percent of the resources in the criminal courts were freed up to quickly put violent criminals behind bars.

In switzerland, too, there is currently an intensive debate about the financing of public broadcasting. There, politicians from several parties in the national council want to pass a federal law that would replace the current rate-dependent fee with a flat-rate household fee like the one in germany, which even people who don’t watch tv at all would have to pay.

The swiss burgers are made palatable by this budgetary lump sum with a sweet, which did not exist with the change in germany: instead of so far 462,40 francs per year in the future only 360 or 400 are to become due. The most prominent opponent of this budget fee is svp member of parliament natalie rickli. She calls instead for savings in the program, in which, in her opinion "any game and cooking shows" have just as little to do as formula 1 races, which are broadcast free of charge by private stations.

In germany, meanwhile, people are arguing about how to distribute the additional revenue from the budgetary lump sum: the federal association of local tv is demanding it for private local television, a producers’ alliance wants a new youth channel that will be filled with products from its members, and bayerischer rundfunk is planning a public folk music channel and the further development of its own television station "further development" of his hit program bayern plus.

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