On Tuesday 3 May 2022, Luxembourg Members of Parliament (MPs) approved a bill authorising the State to participate in the financing of the public service mission in terms of television, radio and digital activities entrusted to CLT-UFA and RTL Group for the financial years 2024 to 2030 inclusive.
According to Luxembourg's Department of Media, Connectivity and Digital Policy, in the continuation of the current agreement signed in 2017, this remains a question of partial financing of the cost of the public service mission, which only covers the deficit remaining after taking into account the income, the annual financial contribution of RTL parent company CLT-UFA and the use of a financial reserve of CLT-UFA.
Under this agreement, the State will spend around €97.5 million on said public service mission, with annual spending capped at €15 million. The payment of the State contribution will be made on the basis of a statement audited by an external auditor, at the expense of the State and under the control of the monitoring commission, recently set up by the agreement currently in force (2021-23). The calculation and payment mechanism takes place afterwards, so that the provisional amounts indicated in the table annexed to the agreement correspond to maximum amounts, which may therefore be lower depending on the eligible costs actually incurred.
Unlike the agreement currently in force, the new agreement now includes television, radio and digital activities to take into account the convergence of media and means of disseminating information. In addition, it provides for a broadening of the missions entrusted to CLT-UFA, particularly with regard to the programmes to be produced and media education.
Since 1995, the State has entrusted public service missions to CLT-UFA for the production of a Luxembourg television and radio programme. Until 2020, CLT-UFA and RTL Group produced these programmes in return for the provision of broadcasting frequencies by the State. However, according to the Department of Media, Connectivity and Digital Policy, over the course of technological developments and changes in audiovisual media consumption habits, this funding model had begun to reach its limits. Consequently, in March 2017, the State signed an agreement with CLT-UFA and RTL Group, covering the period 2021 to 2023, by which the State undertook to guarantee part of the cost of the public service television programme. Since 2020, the State has assumed the overdraft of the public television service up to a maximum amount defined previously. The overdraft corresponds to the total cost of the public service mission minus revenue (advertising and other) and a financial contribution from CLT-UFA.