A breath of fresh air for broadcasters has arrived in the form of state funds, albeit years overdue. Outstanding government subsidies for both 2017 and 2018 were paid at the end of April this year. About a thousand community and commercial radio and TV stations benefit from this aid, which is calculated by following a points system. Further help has arrived through ‘extra revenues’ from the RAI license fees. Since monthly instalments of the public broadcaster’s license fee have been added to the citizens’ electricity bills, evasion has been reduced. This little ‘nest egg’ (higher revenues than before the law passed) is divided between RAI and the local broadcasting stations.
How the funds have been allocated
The attached documents show how the funds have been divided.
216 commercial radio stations have been allocated € 12,383,220.26 for 2017.
207 commercial radio stations have been allocated € 6,073,587.90 for 2018.
314 community radio stations have been allocated € 4,127,740.09 for 2017.
207 community radio stations have been allocated € 2,024,529.30 for 2018.
These, on the other hand, are the allocations of the extra payments of RAI license fees in 2018 which were distributed to 26 commercial radio stations.
and to 25 community radio stations.
Not much choice: Even frequencies have lost value
Some time ago radio stations that had multiple frequencies could sell them off to networks. In this way they could balance their budgets and, hopefully all being well, renovate their studios. However, due to the financial crisis in 2008 the going prices were more than halved and a surplus of channels on sale was created. The Florentine radio station RTR957 bankruptcy auction, that had no bidders on two occasions, is evidence of this. The prices the liquidator was asking for were those of the past, the quality control head of one of the large networks pointed out: € 118,000 for the Monte Morello station (in the municipality of Sesto Fiorentino in the suburbs of the Tuscan capital), and € 63,000 for the one in Poggio Ciliegio in the municipality of Carmignano in the province of Prato.