BUSINESS

Overtaxation halts pay-TV market growth

VANGELIS MANDRAVELIS

TAGS: Economy, Taxation

The Greek pay-TV market suffered significant losses last year, as sales dropped off due to the burden on prices from tax increases. The decline became evident last summer, while some believe the negative impact on the market began to be felt as early as 2016.

It started in June 2016 when the government introduced a 10 percent tax on pay-TV services. Another 2 percent tax passed last year in favor of the journalists’ healthcare fund (EDOEAP) has not been enforced as the creditors have not yet approved the EDOEAP rescue plan.

Pay-TV platforms also pay an annual levy ranging from 0.5 to 3 percent (depending on how many years they have been in operation), plus 1.8 percent of turnover to rightsholders’ organizations, and another 1.5 percent to support Greek movies, for a total tax load of 13.8-15.3 percent, which is also burdened with value-added tax.

All this has led to a decline in the number of subscribers from 1,009,054 at end-2016 to 1,000,071 last June, according to watchdog EETT. This 0.9 percent drop was the first six-month decline seen since 2010. OTE group chairman Michael Tsamaz recently said overtaxation has halted the market’s growth. “We expected 100,000 new clients last year, and we only got 25,000,” he stated.

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