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 Question on radio receiver licensing
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 9:12:33 AM on 31 January 2015.
Wa2ise's avatar
 Location: Oradell, US
 Member since 2 April 2010
 Member #: 643
 Postcount: 723

In the USA we never had to have a licence to listen to radio broadcasts. Stations made money, or not, via commercial advertisements. As a government agency would have to do the licensing and fee collection, like the DMV, and pay radio stations so they could operate, Americans would feel uncomfortable that these stations would end up towing the government line... Anger the government, and they may "forget" to pay...

Back in the old days in Australia, did you need to have a licence for every radio you owned? Or was it more like an "ear" licence (idea being you can only listen to one radio and radio station at a time, and your other radio sets were idle). One licence covering all your radio sets?


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 9:58:04 AM on 31 January 2015.
Gandhn's Gravatar
 Location: Windella, NSW
 Member since 5 November 2010
 Member #: 770
 Postcount: 319

This article seems to cover the topic quite well, "The listeners licence and the sealed set" under Articles on the right.
Years ago I bought a Tasma 801 mantel that a previous owner had fitted to a home made carrying case. At the time, opinion was that it was to take the radio to a week-ender so that an extra licence was not needed.
Harold


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 12:23:45 PM on 31 January 2015.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 5498

I recommend a read of the article Harold referred to as well.

In summary though:-

All stations that went to air in 1922/3 and soon after relied on revenue from the listener's licence. At first there was the failed sealed set scheme, where you paid a licence fee to receive one station of your choice. This scheme was dumped in favour of a licence per receiver scheme where you could tune to your own stations as we do today. You simply purchased one licence each year per receiver you owned. A few years later 2FC, 2SB, 3LO, 3AR, 4QG, 5CL, 6WF and 7ZL became classified as 'A Class' stations which would continue to be funded by licence revenue, with the remainder classified as 'B Class' stations to earn revenue from advertising.

Down the track the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) was formed by the Commonwealth Government and this department absorbed all the A Class stations plus 2NC, 2CO, 4RK and 5CK. All these stations are currently part of two national networks of public stations, Radio National and ABC Local Radio.

I saw this on a bus yesterday - 2UE Sydney celebrating 90 years of broadcasting. 2UE (originally known as 2EU) is Australia's oldest surviving B Class station.

2UE Sydney Celebrating 90 years


Receiver licences were combined after television started in 1956 with combined receiving licences being issued. One licence covered the use of all types of broadcast receivers. In 1974 the licencing scheme was abolished though I believe that Great Britain still issues licences to this day to help fund the BBC.


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A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 5:22:07 PM on 26 February 2015.
Daro's avatar
 Location: Tanawha, QLD
 Member since 22 December 2012
 Member #: 1263
 Postcount: 38

Interesting, Do you think the current LNP government could ever re-introduce a form of user pays licence system to fund the ABC & SBS?

I vaguely remember when Malcolm Fraser came to power in late '75 the first thing they proposed was the re-introduction of a TV licence scheme that was similar to what is operating in the UK where colour TV's would cost more to licence then B/W TV's.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 7:01:40 PM on 26 February 2015.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 5498

It'll never happen (my opinion). I think partial or total privatisation would be a tad more likely, perhaps of the SBS first and maybe later, the ABC, or perhaps just the ABC's radio assets. Without wanting to be too political and indeed being generally opposed to 'flogging the family silver', I think their ownership of more than half a dozen national radio networks is a bit wasteful, despite the variety between these networks being more than adequate.


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A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 12:45:37 AM on 27 February 2015.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 3698

I believe Radio Australia's transmitters etc are already leased via a Banker.

Marc


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 5:03:00 PM on 27 February 2015.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 5498

You could be right there. I did hear that Radio Australia was going to be privatised but did not hear what eventually happened. There was some talk of dissolving Australia Television as well. This was not part of the ABC but they ran it on behalf of the Commonwealth.


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A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
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