Thursday, 5 February 2009

Singapore's TV license is world's lowest...

That was what Ms. Pam Hu from MDA claimed in the Straits Times forum today.

A comment from one of the user online, highlighted an interesting point that is, only 5 countries (including Singapore) in Asia charges TV license. And Singapore being the richest country in ASEAN is the only one that charges TV license.

May I add on to the comments...

It might be the lowest but it is not justifiable. The channels we are exposed to is just too little!

The other 4 countries that charges TV license are; Israel, Japan, Korea and Pakistan.

In Israel,

The television licence for 2006 is about €70/ year. The licence fee is the primary source of revenue for the Israel Broadcasting Authority, the state broadcaster; however, its radio stations carry full advertising and its TV programmes sometime receive "sponsorship" from commercial entities to supplement this income.


Licence fee for terrestrial television broadcasts is about €110/ year. However, the quality of the program is so much better and having just came back from Japan, they had channels such as 'National Geographic', 'Animal Planet', 'Cartoon Network', 'Discovery Channel', 'Star Movies' and 'CNN'. For us to watch channels as such, we need to pay an additional amount on top of the license.


Television licence fee is about £15 or €25/ year. It has stood at this level since 1981.


Television licence is around €3.86/ year. Part of it goes to KESC.

Other Asia countries that don't charge TV license are; Malaysia, Australia, India, Brunei, Thailand and Indonesia. The last time when I was in Jakarta, I can view up to at least 12 channels!

For years, my mum has been asking me what are we paying for with the $110?


Daniel Ling said...

Hi, I think additionally, if you have starhub cable tv or mio or whatever, TV license sitll must be paid. I wonder for what.

exsingie said...

The headline should read Singapore is one of the few countries in the world that still imposes the TV license tax on its people. We don't pay for TV licenses here in the US & we have 5 TV sets at home.


kramfs said...

Nice article, we'll researched specially on the list of other Asian countries still imposing a TV license and the amount.

I might add that you also do not need to have a license in the Philippines to own and operate a TV set....

I'm still wondering what was the justification in imposing a TV license aside from monetary value?

Lilian is ... said...

Hi kramfs,

I got the info from wikipedia and I expect them to be right??? :)

With regards to Philippines, I dont see that on the list found on wikipedia...

But u could be right.

kramfs said...

Aha, thanks for the clarification.

I think it would be wise to always include your sources of information in order to better strengthen the credibility of your post.

You already did it in your other posts, why not here? ... :-)

Good luck and keep blogging!

Lilian is ... said...


thanks for the reminder and you're right :)

Tim said...

Haiz, but TV revenue primarily comes from TV ads and consumer spending, and not the TV licence- basically a tax on people having a TV.

Even those who have a TV, but not watching. I just wonder if the govt charges people who don't have a network TV line installed..

In any case, most countries in the world do not have TV licence, so the point of being the "lowest" is irrelevant. The fact is MDC is a monopoly and earns a ton of money through ads alone. The tax merely tops up their profit for their annual profit reports.

These guys can survive and prosper with less of the TV tax. All they have to do is to sell more ad space to all organisations that has a marketing department.

Anonymous said...

you are right

greg said...

no they don't.
i realised that i am paying $110 for nothing so i cancelled my TV license this month.
you have to go to the MDA website to apply for a TV license cancellation request.

Anonymous said...

What really bothers me is that Mediacorp's programming is absolute rubbish. The rationale for the tv licence according to the MDA website is:

TV Licence fees help to fund selected TV programmes to ensure that our population has access to a more balanced and wider range of Public Service Broadcast (PSB) programmes. PSB programmes include current affairs, info-educational, cultural, quality drama, children's and minority language programmes. They reflect local values and concerns. Such programmes often serve to inform and educate the general public about important social, community and economic issues and policies.

But the stuff they show on Mediacorp channels is shit. I think a justifiable amount for the TV licence would be in the region of $25 per year, considering the quality of the programming on our free to air channels.

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