Swedes paying TV licence fees in droves

Swedes paying TV licence fees in droves
Revenues are up at Sweden’s main public broadcasters due to record numbers of households paying their TV licence fees.

Dagens Nyheter reports that altogether, nearly 30,000 households have paid their fees for the first time in 2007, resulting in roughly 60 million kronor.

“This is probably the best year in our history,” said Anna Pettersson, Managing Director for Radiotjänst, the company charged with collecting the TV licence fees which finance Sweden’s public broadcasting services.

Fifty seven percent of the licence income goes to Sweden’s public television service (SVT). The standard public radio service (SR) receives 37 percent, while the educational radio service (UR) services 4.75 percent. The levels are set by the Riksdag.

Last fall, TV licence fees became a hot-button issue when it was discovered that several ministers in the new Alliance government had failed to pay the 166 kronor per month fee.

In the first six months of 2007, Radiotjänst received 18,000 new licence payments, four times greater than the normal number of new subscribers.

According to Pettersson, digitalization and a high number of flat-screen TV sales have been two of the main drivers behind the increase in licence payments.