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BAI backs 'immediate' €30m-a-year increase in public funding for RTÉ

Ireland’s broadcasting regulator says both RTÉ and TG4 deliver value for Irish audiences.

RTÉ's headquarters in Donnybrook.
RTÉ's headquarters in Donnybrook.
Image: RollingNews.ie

THE BROADCAST AUTHORITY of Ireland (BAI) has recommended that RTÉ be given an immediate increase in public funding of at least €30 million per year.

The recommendation comes following a five-year review of Ireland’s public service broadcasters and also found that TG4 was in need of further public funding of €6 million per year. 

In a summary of its report, the BAI says that RTÉ is in dire need of additional funding.

“The BAI recommends, at a minimum, that RTÉ should receive an increase in its annual public funding of €30 million per annum,” the BAI states.

Given the urgency of RTÉ’s current funding position, the increased level of public funding recommended should be available to the broadcaster immediately.

“As set out in the report, the BAI believes that there may well be a case for increased funding in excess of €30 million per annum and remains open to receiving further detailed proposals from the broadcaster over the period of its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, aligned with its statutory remit.”

The BAI regulates the broadcasting industry in Ireland and is required by law to carry out a review of the funding requirements of broadcasters every five years. 

Its report notes that there has been no licence fee increase in 10 years and concludes that both RTÉ and TG4 “continue to deliver value for Irish audiences”.

The report adds that there is a “strong justification” for increased levels of funding for both broadcasters and that doing so “would make a significant contribution” towards the their sustainability.

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“The BAI requests that the minister and the government urgently address the financing required for public service broadcasting as set out in the BAI’s report,” BAI chairperson Pauric Travers said today. 

The full report will be made public when it is laid before the Oireachtas.

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Rónán Duffy

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