State broadcaster loses €5 million in 10 years despite €40 million in subsidies

The public broadcaster, PBS, has lost a total of €5 million over the last ten years despite being given €40 million in direct subsidies over the same period, excluding millions given in state advertising.

An analysis of PBS’s audited financial statements between 2013 and 2022 shows that the state entity registered massive losses in seven out of the last ten audited years.

This is despite the Labour Party government doubling its annual subsidies from €3 million in 2013 to €6 million in 2022. Meanwhile, the company reduced its full-time workforce and started relying on outsourced programmes.

The state broadcaster registered its heaviest loss during 2022, when it received its highest-ever subsidy from the State.

PBS’s financial performance over the last decade despite €40 million in subsidies

PBS has been under scrutiny for failing to uphold its mission of being a fair, balanced, and independent broadcaster, condemned several times by its regulator – the Broadcasting Authority, as well as the courts and international press freedom organisations.

Under the leadership of Executive Chairman Mark Sammut, PBS has been heavily criticised for its spending of public funds, biased current affairs programmes, mismanagement and lack of transparency.

Only last year, the National Audit Office (NAO) described PBS as an entity suffering from maladministration.

The audit found that despite the hefty annual subsidies, PBS lost money in every division except radio.

According to the NAO, while in its last financial year ending September 2022, the station had managed to sell some €7.5 million in advertising, there were no safeguards regarding processes and discounts, while outside contract ad hoc arrangements were commonplace.

It also found no audit trail or standard processes in the company’s sales system, with the NAO noting that many arrangements “are not backed by the appropriate management approval or not substantiated by any form of documentation.”

The NAO also noted that the company was not accountable for how it spent millions of euro in subsidies.

Apart from receiving a €100,000 plus annual financial package, Sammut is also being paid some €26,000 extra per year for chairing the board. In 2023, Sammut only convened the PBS board three times.


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1 month ago

C’mon this is Mafialand what did you really expect?

1 month ago

Kemm ilu hemm Robert Abela, is-sussidju kważi rdoppja. Ma jridx jaħtaf ix-xandir taħt idejh ukoll!!!!

1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

ix-xandir dardir ilu li nhataf.

1 month ago

supporting a corrupt organisation. shame on dardir malta and the BA (biased authority)

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