Free-to-air broadcasters wishing to use the DVB-MHP Multimedia Home Platform standard for interactive TV will have to pay a licence fee based on the number of homes reached by their services.

Via Licensing Corporation, a subsidiary of Dolby Laboratories, is acting on behalf of the holders of a pool of patents essential for the MHP standard, including Comcast, Open TV, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Thomson and Time Warner Cable.

For MHP services broadcast free-to-air, license fees will not be changed before the beginning of 2009, after which they will be assessed according to each broadcaster or originator of an MHP service and the number of households within the reach of the service.

For broadcasters that do not offer any for-fee services, annual licences will be levied on a sliding scale, from zero for less than 100,000 households to $100,000 for more than 7.5 million households within reach of MHP services. The fees will be doubled for services provided by free-to-air broadcasters that also offer for-fee services, including but not limited to pay-per-view services.

The licensing charges for providers of subscription services were announced last year at $0.25 per subscriber or household. In addition there will be a fee of $2.00 per device for consumer devices.

Via Licensing also represents the patent pool for the TV-Anytime specifications relating to personal video recorders and similar devices and is seeking to identify owners of essential patents necessary for the standard.