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TV and radio license fees abolished!

By BenCee on 23 Feb 2011

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Last Friday, in his 2011 Budget speech, Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced the abolition of the much-derided TV and radio license fees.

The news was greeted with joyous cheers from the crowd, and no doubt most Singaporeans would be happy to see the back of the archaic license fee.

Before I get roundly slated, I guess it's best to put an early disclaimer to say that this blog entry will have very little to do with cars or motoring.

But for myself, like many Singaporeans, I am delighted that the Government has saw sense and decided to finally do away with this much loathed annual $110 payment for televisions, and $27 payment for in-car radio sets.

It might seem like a minute sum to people, but it's the principle of purpose that they are collected for that irks most payers.

As a media graduate, I certainly know much about the purpose of the license fees. They are used to fund public broadcast programs that are produced for the public's interest.

However, the main broadcaster in Singapore, Mediacorp, has long ceased to be a public broadcaster in even the loosest sense of the word.

It doesn't take a genius to know that most of Mediacorp's income actually comes from advertising, which makes the license fee even more redundant.

And of course, what Mr Tharman said is true, that, "The license fees are losing their relevance." Viewership of Mediacorp programs have been on a decline for years now, in tandem with the drop in quality of their programs, as more people tune in to cable television or the Internet for their entertainment fix.

With regards to radio, while there are still enough listeners who tune in, mainly for traffic news during drive-time, the radio stations too rely on advertising to fund their operations. There are also an increasing number who listen to their MP3 players or Internet radio while on the move, which further renders the license fee moot.

To me, the abolishment of the license fee is finally acknowledgment that Mediacorp is no longer a public broadcaster that broadcast programs in the public's interest.

license fees and 5 more...

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BenCee
Written by BenCee
A petrolhead from young, Ben is living the dream, writing about cars...



  • 1
Dice Feb 23 2011 11:34 AM
the fat lady finally sings!
Friendstar Feb 23 2011 05:38 PM
yes!
can save a bit of money.

thats about 140bucks!
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StevenSteven Feb 24 2011 05:15 AM
Christ I like Friendstar. Its her grip of maths that gets me going. Or something(s).
Viceroymenthol Feb 28 2011 03:14 AM
Yes Steven, I like 'em too.
  • 1
 
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