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KBS chief presses President not to alter license fee collection

(Photo: KBS News)

The head of the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) has urged the government to scrap its plan to remove the broadcaster’s license fees from electricity bills.

During a news conference at KBS on Thursday, KBS President and CEO Kim Eui-cheol pressed the presidential office, criticizing the plan, which he said will shake the fiscal resources of the public broadcaster.

The Yoon administration is seeking to discontinue the collection of KBS’s current license fees by the Korea Electric Power Corporation, or KEPCO, working as a surrogate.

Combining TV license fees and electricity charges into one outstanding balance has allowed for stable financial operation of the public broadcaster since 1994.

The presidential office on Monday recommended that relevant ministries revise regulations to separate TV license fees from electricity bills.

KBS charges a monthly fee of two-thousand-500 won, or less than two dollars, to households. If the fee is charged separately from invoices other than the KEPCO electricity bills, many households are expected to refuse to pay.