Public Media Worldwide

Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK)

Radio | Television | Online


of audience
consider NHK
most trusted
outlet (RISJ)


Available in
160 countries


total income
from receiving

In detail

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Ownership: Public

NHK is a statutory corporation chartered under the Broadcasting Act of 1950. Articles 28-30 of the Broadcasting Act also set out the establishment, authority, and organisation of NHK’s Board of Governors (the decision-making body for management policy and operations). According to NHK, “The governors are approved by both houses of the Diet on behalf of the people of Japan and are appointed by the Prime Minister.” While annual budgets are also approved by the diet, NHK is an independent legal entity, funded by its viewers. 

  • Receiving fee: 13,990 yen per year (terrestrial); 24,770 yen per year (satellite)
    Received 699.5 billion yen from receiving fees (97.6%) of total operating income (FY 2018)
  • 54 Domestic broadcasting stations; 31 overseas offices.
  • NHK WORLD PREMIUM reaches approximately 20 million households in over 100 countries
  • 6 Domestic TV Channels:
    • Two terrestrial TV channels: General TV and Educational TV; Four satellite TV channels: BS 1, BS Premium, BS4K and BS8K
    • 3 radio channels: Radio 1, Radio 2 and FM
  • External channels:
    • NHK WORLD-JAPAN (English TV channel and Radio service for 17 languages); NHK WORLD PREMIUM (Japanese TV channel); NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN (Japanese Radio service)


NHK WORLD-JAPAN operates in 17 languages

Proposals have recently been put forward to decrease the cost of NHK’s licence fee by around 10% for fiscal year 2023. Plans have already been announced to cut NHK’s managerial staff by around 30% to help make up for the shortfall in revenue from the proposed reduction, among other cost-cutting measures.

Read our latest report: Proposed licence fee amendments for public broadcasters in Japan and South Korea


Korean Broadcasting System (KBS)

Radio | Television | Online


most trusted
media during
pandemic in
South Korea


of South Koreans
use KBS Weekly


available via
KBS World Radio

In detail

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The fact that the Board of Governors and executives are appointed by the Korean President has raised concerns in recent years about the independence of KBS from the state. This has been recognised among KBS’ management and as a result, the public broadcaster has implemented measures, including amending the Broadcast Planning Regulation to better protect its independence. In its 2019 Annual Report, KBS stated:  

In order to institutionally establish the autonomy and independence of broadcasting production, the Broadcast Planning Regulation was amended for the first time in 16 years. We increased institutional effectiveness by making Planning Committee meetings mandatory and newly implementing a regulation for executive director appointment approval. We also created a new provision to guarantee independence, making it clear that we must maintain our independence from external pressure and unfair interference. 

KBS is funded by a licence fee that is levied alongside electricity fees. It also generates its own revenue through advertising.

Licence Fee: 2,500 won a month (the licence fee has been set at this price since 1981; however, recent proposals by the KBS Board of Directors considers increasing it to 3,840 won per month).

    • Licence Fee Income (end of 2019): 670.5 billion KRW 
    • Licence fee supplemented by advertisements.

KBS operates broadcasting stations in 9 major cities nationwide and broadcasting stations in 9 regions, and has opened overseas offices in 14 regions. 50% use KBS weekly (RISJ Digital News Report 2020).

50% trust in KBS News – 3rd highest online news brand (RISJ Digital News Report 2020). It was also considered the 2nd most trusted media outlet in South Korea in 2019 (The Korea Bizwire).

4, 701

During the COVID-19 pandemic, KBS launched the ‘COVID-19 Integrated Newsroom’ to help keep the nation informed with the latest COVID-19 information. Its extensive coverage placed KBS as the “most trusted media organisation and source of news among Korean viewers” during the pandemic in 2020.

KBS’ Board of Directors recently submitted a proposal to increase the licence fee to 3,840 won per month. If approved, this will be the first increase in the licence fee for 40 years. The fee has been earmarked at 2,500 won per month since 1981.

Read our latest report: Proposed licence fee amendments for public broadcasters in Japan and South Korea

Public Television Service (PTS)

Television | Online


trusted source
of news in


World Press
Freedom ranking


of online PTS
traffic derived
from PeoPo

In detail

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The PTS Act was legalised in 1997. The law stipulated the major mandate and performance of Taiwan’s public service broadcaster, and editorial guidelines were ratified by staff and management. This has since been continuously documented by PTS’ 18-member Board of Governors from 2005 onwards.

Amendments to the Broadcasting and Television Act, Cable Television Act, and Satellite Broadcasting Act in 2003 also ensure that government, political parties, and elected party officials cannot invest in broadcasting and television industries. PTS’ funding model also ensures that it remains independent from political or commercial interference. 

PTS has received a fixed annual appropriation since the PTS Act was legalised. Since 2003, other government grants are regularly disbursed into annual operation based on the projects of digitalisation proposed by the public broadcaster.  

To avoid relying on the government as a source of income, PTS Taiwan supplements government donations by self-funding through commercial sponsorship by public or private organisations that do not interfere with the nature of its programming; personal donations through the ‘Friends of Public Television’ membership system and other activities including programme marketing and studio rentals. Three special grants also come from the Cable Radio & Television Development Fund, the Divestment of Shares in Terrestrial Television Act, and funding by the Development of National Languages Act. 

Total revenue (2019): NTD 2,224,864,868 (USD 74,211,636). 

Government grants included = NTD 900,000,000 (USD30,020,013) 

In September 2021, PTS Taiwan launched “PTS World Taiwan,” an international YouTube channel that offers an incredible variety of programmes for viewers worldwide. This media service will allow Taiwan to be seen and heard by an international audience, shining a spotlight as Taiwan takes the global stage. It has close to 4,000 subscribers.

Read our latest report: PTS Taiwan’s New Frontier: PTS World Taiwan

Thai Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

Radio | Television | Online


years since it
became an
established PSB


Thai PBS is
one of the most
trusted sources
of news in Thailand

2 billion THB

received from
'Sin tax' funding
per year

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

Thai PBS is protected from political or commercial influence under the Public Broadcasting Service Act of Thailand 2008.

Thai PBS also has a policy committee, which has been selected through an independent and transparent process.

Thai PBS receives income from excise taxes, also known as ‘sin tax’, which is collected from liquor and tobacco sales. The tax is earmarked between 1.5 – 1.8 percent, and does not exceed THB 2 billion per year.

According to the RISJ 2021 Digital News Report, Thai PBS’s offline weekly reach is 25%, it is the second highest reaching broadcaster online, reaching around 32% of respondents weekly.

It is also one of the most trusted sources of news in Thailand, with 70% of those surveyed stating that they trust the public broadcaster.

In its 14th year, Thai PBS has sharpened its focus on audience engagement, putting the ‘audience first’ and at the heart of its public broadcaster.

Thai PBS also contributes to society through social and cultural campaigns and initiatives. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Thai PBS offered its educational resource, ‘Thai PBS Learning Shelf’, a kit that consists of DVDs, Thai PBS programmes and various other learning and skills-building materials, to several government departments and education institutions.

The public broadcaster launched three new online channels dedicated to real-time updates, including a section for its citizen journalism initiative. Meanwhile, the Thai PBS Foundation launched a campaign to invite donations to help fund the purchase of televisions, set-top boxes and other equipment and accessories needed for schoolchildren to access educational content at home.+

Header Image: NHK Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. Credit: mizoula/istock