Breaking away from the state funding model used to support broadcasting in many countries, Singapore has dispensed with its radio and TV licence fees.

'From 2011, MDA [Singapore's Media Development Authority] will receive government funding for public service broadcasts,' says MDA Chief Executive Officer, Aubeck Kam. 'MDA will work closely with the industry to continuously improve the quality and reach of PSB content, including making them available on new platforms, in step with Singaporeans' changing media habits.'

The announcement follows a report published by Adam Smith Institute in late 2010 recommending the UK Government replce its licencing scheme with a voluntary subscription. This would see the introduction of an
interim annual fee of £145 up to 2015, when  BBC services would become subscription-only.

The report suggested that, 'Over a transitional period, subscriptions would replace licences as they fall due. During this period, BBC would retain all its current privileges with a fixed sum allocated by government to cover possible licence fee losses. This should ensure little change in current output over the interim phase.'

Part of the Singapore's 2011 budget, the radio and TV licence  scheme that has been in place since 1963 to pay for public service broadcast content previously covered the use of premises and vehicles, as well as dealers selling broadcast equipment. In 2009, the MDA raised S$132.5m (US$103.4m ) towards programme content creation.

'PSB content has enabled the broadcast of a diverse range of programmes in Singapore’s four official languages,' says Kam. 'From 2011, MDA will receive Government funding for public service broadcasts. MDA will work closely with the industry to continuously improve the quality and reach of PSB content, including making them available on new platforms, in step with Singaporeans’ changing media habits.'

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