Heft 266

Bernd Holznagel, Christoph Nüßing:

Basic Principles for the Funding of Public Service Broadcasting,

Cologne, in June 2010, ISBN 978-3-938933-72-5

21 p., Price 8,00 €


This working paper is based on a presentation given by Prof. Holznagel during an international conference of the Institute for Broadcasting Economics concerning "The Future of the Broadcasting Licence Fee in Times of Media Convergence", Bonn, May 6, 2010. Prof. Dr. Bernd Holznagel, LL.M. is Director of the Institute for Information, Telecommunication and Media Law (ITM) at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster; Christoph Nüßing is a research assistant at the ITM. 

As requirements resulting from the freedom of broadcasting the authors claim an obligation for sufficient funding, the independence from government, the independence from influence of the advertising economy and an independent procedure of funding-fixation. In addition they consider the requirements of the EU Legislation on State Aid. In a final chapter they discuss the problem of compulsory radio and TV license fees in the current times of convergence. As reform options a "minimal reform" with only minor modifications in known problem areas, a fee for households and places of business, and a capitation fee are discussed. "The question as to which of these funding models is best suited to fulfil the service remit of public broadcasting in the media landscape of today, can only be answered in practice. Furthermore, it must be empirically determined for each state individually. However, all three reform options have the advantage of a funding model that does not depend on the state or on commerce. In principle, they are capable of balancing the constitutional freedom of broadcasting and the EU rules on competition properly." 

Table of Contents:

1. Introduction

2. Requirements Resulting from the Freedom of Broadcasting
2.1. Obligation for Sufficient Funding
2.2. Independence from Government
2.3. Independence from Influence of the Advertising Economy
2.4. Providing for an Independent Procedure of Funding-Fixation
2.5. Current Developments

3. The Requirements of the EU Legislation on State Aid

4. The Problem of Compulsory Radio and TV License Fees in the Current Times of Convergence