25 Oct 2007

Broadcasters protest against fee increases in Fiji

11:52 am on 25 October 2007

Television and radio companies in Fiji are crying foul over the interim government's decision to increase broadcasting licence fees from next year.

For television companies, the new licence fee will be 12-thousand US dollars or 1-point-5 percent of their annual turnover, whichever is greater.

For radio broadcasters, the new annual licence fee will be 6-thousand US dollars or 1-point-5 percent of their turnover, again whichever is greater.

Fiji TV's chief executive, Mesake Nawari, says they were not consulted about the increase and are analyzing its implications for the company.

William Parkinson, the managing director of Communications Fiji Limited, which operates radio stations in English, Fijian and Hindi languages, says they are very disappointed that a decision like this could be made without any communication with stakeholders.

Mr Parkinson says licence fees should be a fixed amount and the

1-point-5 percent turnover payment is a penalty for being successful and growing a business.