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EC agrees RTVE, FT subsidy

French private channels are appealing

New funding systems for pubcasters RTVE in Spain and France Televisions got the greenlight Tuesday from European regulators.

Both systems, which replace advertising revenue with coin from the governments in Spain and France, have been judged compatible with European rules on state subsidy.

Key to approval is an emphasis on broadcasters’ public service missions and safeguards to prevent over-payment for product.

However, a question still hangs over a Spanish tax on electronic communications operators created to generate coin for RTVE, which the European Commission thinks may be illegal.

A thumbs-down would leave Spain’s government looking for another source of cash but wouldn’t question RTVE’s funding model.

The greenlight for France Televisions is a longterm endorsement on top of approval for a first year of subsidies, granted last year.

This earlier decision is being contested by Gaul’s commercial terrestrial webs TF1 and M6 play paybox Canal Plus. Their appeal is still pending.

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