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State broadcaster RAI to increase annual fee by 1.50 euros

Tax deemed the most detested in Italy

26 December, 16:30
State broadcaster RAI to increase annual fee by 1.50 euros (ANSA) - Rome, December 26 - State broadcaster RAI announced on Wednesday that the annual television licence fee for 2013 will be increased 1.50 euros compared to 2012, specifying that the hike was issued by the Italian economic development ministry.

Italians owning televisions are now required to pay 113.50 euros yearly for the public television subscription, to be paid by 31 January 2013.

The obligatory annual TV licence fee to help finance RAI is the country's most unpopular tax, a survey revealed last year.

The study by the Censis research agency showed that 47.3% of Italians deemed the fee to be the tax they most detested.

RAI obtains about half of its funding from the licence fee, with the rest coming from advertising and other sources of revenue, such as sales of the overseas rights to broadcast the TV shows and films it produces.

The broadcaster is criticised on a wide variety of grounds by Italians, being blasted as too commercial by many, while others complain the schedule is not entertaining enough and there should be more Hollywood blockbusters.

Another frequent gripe is that there is too much political interference in its output, especially news shows.