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EBU: Portugal pubcaster underfunded despite deal

The European Broadcasting Union has voiced concerns Portugal’s public broadcaster remains “underfunded” despite a new deal protecting it from privatisation.

RTP has secured a new contract that comes into force in January and will run until 2030, which will end a dispute over the future of broadcaster.

In May last year, a government minister said RTP could be privatised. However, this lead to a period of dispute during which the minister, Miguel Relvas, and the RTP board resigned.

However, the new contract, which goes through the Portuguese parliament next year, will see the RTP budget reduced by €30 million (US$40.6 million) per year and puts a ceiling cap on advertising of six minutes per hour. Household licence fees will also increase from €2.25 per month to €2.65.

While the EBU said the new contract was a source of celebration, it warned that “under the new terms, [RTP] will remain one of the most underfunded public broadcasters in Europe”.