I'd nearly forgotten this topic, but three weeks ago, in Switzerland ...
Swiss voters on Sunday rejected a proposal that would have cut taxpayer funding to public broadcasters, after a campaign that stirred debate about the media's role in fostering national unity.
The "No Billag" initiative -- a reference to the Billag firm that collects the media licensing fee -- divided Switzerland on political and generational lines.
But 71 percent voted "no" to the proposals, according to official results published by the Swiss news agency ATS.
Rejection of the initiative was "a strong sign for the public service and for private regional radio and television," said the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) director Gilles Marchand.He said note had been taken of criticism of SBC and announced an efficiency drive and 100 million franc ($106 million) investment from next year.
No Billag's backers, led by the youth wing of the libertarian Free Democratic Party (PLR), sought to portray the SBC as an unfairly dominant and outdated relic.
Switzerland's largest party, the nationalist and anti-migrant Swiss Peoples Party (SVP/UDC), had also thrown its support behind the initiative. SBC, which received about 1.2 billion Swiss francs from the licence fee last year -- or three quarters of its budget -- delivers news in the country's four official languages: German, French, Italian and Romansch.
Many credit it for guaranteeing that all Swiss residents receive information of crucial public interest in all four languages, along with a range of opinion and analysis.
In the Netherlands, the fee was abolished - but the income tax was increased instead.
And opposite what the the wikipedia report >Television licence<
, in East Belgian (the German Community) you still have to pay for the BRF radio and tv programs: like in The Netherlands via extra taxes, because it's now an agency of the German Community's government