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State Aid

State aid: Iceland asked to amend financing regime of RÚV

10.2.2011

PR(11)07
The Authority formally requested Iceland to change the financing regime of the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service RÚV.


The aim of the requested changes is to provide for greater transparency of public funding of R
ÚV and to minimalise possible distortions of competition on the markets on which RÚV is present. In practical terms, it means bringing the financing regime in line with the Authority's guidelines on state aid to public service broadcasting sector adopted in the beginning of 2010[1].

Iceland has now time until second half of March 2011 to respond to this proposal.

The following issues, addressing the separation of RÚV's publicly funded and commercial activities, have been raised inter alia by the Authority in today's decision:

  • Clarification of which new services that will be subject to a special procedure aiming at extending the public service remit of RÚV;
  • Establishment of clear guidelines for the determination of remuneration for pay services within the public service remit of RÚV, such as access to RÚV's archives;
  • Establishment of clear principles for treatment of possible overcompensation;
  • Clarification that RÚV's commercial activities follow market principles as set out in the Broadcasting Guidelines.

Those issues have already been discussed with the Icelandic authorities in the course of the so-called existing aid procedure concerning the financing of RÚV from public sources. Iceland has already introduced certain amendments, following comments from the Authority, such as for instance changing of the ownership of RÚV from the Ministry of Education and Culture to the Ministry of Finance. This change has allowed for separation of functions of the RÚV's owner on the one hand and the regulatory functions over public service broadcasting on the other hand in the Icelandic Government, thereby providing for independent monitoring of RÚV's activities in the national system.

RÚV is the national public service broadcaster in Iceland. It provides a wide range of services in traditional radio and television broadcasting as well as in the Internet and teletext. It is currently financed by a special fee imposed on all individuals and legal persons in Iceland and by commercial revenues such as selling of advertising space or sponsorship.

 

For further information, please contact:

Trygve Mellvang-Berg
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66

 

Agnieszka Montoya-Iwanczuk
Senior Officer
Competition and State Aid
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 59




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