Swedish tablet and PC owners now subject to TV license fee as networks bring shows online

Swedish tablet and PC owners now subject to TV license fee as networks bring shows online

As Swedish television stations begin moving their programming online, a local law has come into effect that will require tablet and PC owners to pay the same $320 annual license fee as TV owners, The Local reports.

National broadcaster Sveriges Television (STV) announced earlier this week that it will offer its shows for free online, following on a similar move from private television network TV4 last year.

Sweden’s Radiotjänst has been responsible for collecting a 2,076 kronor ($320) fee from residents who own a TV. Consumers without televisions who own PCs or tablets will now have to pay as well, since they will have access to entire TV channels.

According to The Local, the majority of folks will not be affected by the change, as 90% of Swedish households currently pay the fee. Still, consumers hoping to save money by ditching their sets and switching to PC and tablet entertainment will find themselves still subject to the charge.

A Radiotjänst spokesman told Computer Sweden that smartphones will remain exempt because of their broad use and the fact that they’re not primarily used for television.

With the added convenience of networks bringing their content online, the license fee may be a small price to pay, especially since most Swedes are already paying it.

Interestingly, the UK’s BBC already includes “computers, mobile phones, DVD/video recorders and other devices” in its license fee requirements, though it, unlike Sweden, only charges customers who are watching or recording TV as it is broadcast.

Image credit: iStockphoto

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