ALMA MEDIA CORP.STOCK EXCHANGE BULLETIN 14 JUNE 2002, 12.00 1/2 OPERATING LICENCE FEE HALVED FROM 1 JULY 2002 The President of the Republic of Finland endorsed new legislation today halving the operating licence fee levied on commercial television companies including MTV Oy with effect from 1 July 2002. The change in the law will reduce Alma Media Corporation’s overall costs this year by approx. 7 MEUR. Under the new legislation the operating licence fee will be entirely waived for commercial radio companies, while digital terrestrial television broadcasts will likewise be released from paying the operating licence fee during the fee’s first period, i.e. until 31 August 2002. On Tuesday 21 February 2002 the Finnish parliament passed a new Communications Market Bill as well as amendments to the laws governing television and radio broadcasting, the state television and radio fund and Yleisradio Oy (the Finnish Broadcasting Company). The President of Finland has today endorsed this package of amendments. The new laws take effect on 1 July 2002. For Alma Media the most significant impact of the new legislation relates to the operating licence fees previously levied on commercial television and radio activities. Under the law still in force, commercial television companies using the existing terrestrial analogue frequencies are required to pay an operating licence fee equivalent to 24.5 % of net sales exceeding 60 million Finnish markka. Under the new law these companies will pay a fee of 12.25 % on net sales above 10.1 MEUR. The change in the law will reduce MTV Oy’s costs this year by an estimated 7 MEUR. The law also stipulates that the remaining part of the operating licence fee still in force will be reduced in pace with the growing penetration of digital television set-top boxes in Finland, and abolished altogether when this penetration reaches one hundred percent. Under the new legislation commercial radios will no longer be charged any operating licence fee. Nor will any fee be levied on digital terrestrial television activities while the existing operating licence fees are still in force. The digital operation licence fees will be abolished on 31 August 2010. Alma Media’s President and CEO Juho Lipsanen is pleased with the reduction in operating licence fee. But the problem has been only alleviated, not eliminated, and the fee should be abolished entirely, he thinks. Operators in this business are concerned about safeguarding the future viability of digital television and for this the decision to halve the operating licence fee does not provide new resources. The savings generated during the second half of the year will not be sufficient to cover Alma Media’s digital television costs for the whole year, Lipsanen states. 2/2 ALMA MEDIA CORPORATION Ahti Martikainen Vice President, Corporate Communications Further information: Jorma Miettinen, Director, MTV Oy, tel. +358 9 1500 588 or +358 400 209506 Helsinki Exchanges, Principal Media
  • Date: 14.6.2002, 08:00
  • News type: Stock exchange release

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