Poland to increase funding for public broadcasters by tightening licencing
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland's culture ministry wants more funding for public broadcasters through tightened laws on licensing fees in the second half of the year, Deputy Culture Minister Jarosław Sellin has said.
Planned reform of laws governing television and radio licensing are currently in public and parliamentary consultations.
The reform is to change how television and radio licence fees are collected. It suggests including privately-owned paid TV providers in the process by registering set-top boxes, but keeps the main responsibility in the hands of the Polish Post.
Sellin said that already some 300 comments had been made, “some of them essentially interesting”.
Among the comments, the Inspector General for Personal Data Protection raised concerns about involving private companies in the process of collecting fees while one government representative said that video on demand service users are not covered under the planned reform, which could cause many to move from traditional TV to VOD.
Sellin said the reform aims to “encourage” people to pay fees, with a large portion of Poles owning television sets so they can watch satellite TV avoiding the mandatory charge for public broadcasts.
He called the current system “outdated”.
“Currently, one needs to pay for a television or radio set, but technological development has made that very difficult these days because one could ask if a smartphone is not a television or radio receiver,” Sellin said.
According to the National Broadcasting Council, some two million homes are behind on their licence fees. (vb)