Almost 330,000 people have signed an online petition to Germany’s Constitutional Court calling for the “flat rate” TV licence fee to be scrapped.
Under the current system, every household in Germany must pay a flat monthly fee of €17.98 (£15), or €215.76 (£180) per year, regardless of whether it owns a TV or radio.
According to the English-language website TheLocal.de, the petition says: “This amounts to a tax which is banned by the constitution for good reasons,” adding: “Every person has the natural right not to be forced to finance companies.”
The German TV licence fee is used to fund national broadcasters ZDF and Deutschlandradio, as well as nine regional broadcasters.
The petition calls for these companies to be funded either by advertising or subscription.
The fee has also been condemned by businesses, who must pay a fee for each branch or office they own, thus increasing their overhead costs.
The new fee was introduced last year to cover all German households after people avoided the previous fee by watching TV online without purchasing television sets or radios.