Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/02/satellite_licence_fee/

Burma hits satellite TV where it hurts

Hikes licence fee to 'three times the average annual salary'

By Lester Haines

Posted in Law, 2nd January 2008 14:32 GMT

The fun-loving Burmese regime has apparently found a non-violent method to restrict satellite TV access to foreign news services - hiking the cost of a licence by 16,700 per cent from 6000 kyat (£2.50) to 1m kyatt (£400, or "three times the average annual salary", as the BBC explains).

The move was unnanounced, and viewers only discovered the massive rise when they went to renew their licences. Thant Zin, a 57-year-old civil servant, told AP: "The government is trying to shut our ears and eyes. The military regime does not want us to know the truth about our country."

According to the BBC, the Burmese authorities have a penchant for denouncing subversive influences such as the Beeb itself, Voice of America and the Democratic Voice of Burma. The Burmese do not, however, only use satellite TV to get the inside line on what's happening in their own country - soap operas and sporting events also attract eager audiences. ®