RAI to ask gov't to raise license fee

Annual revenue expected to fall by $54 mil

ROME -- Italian state broadcaster RAI says it will petition the government to raise the annual fee residents pay toward the pubcaster in a bid to shore up revenue levels expected to fall as much as 40 million euros ($54.4 million) short of expectations this year.

The so-called "canone" is scheduled to jump to 106 euros ($144) for a family's main television in 2009 -- up from 104 euros ($141) this year. But RAI director Claudio Cappon told parliament that the fee should be raised more, stopping short of citing a specific amount.