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Screengrab/RTE Player
catch-up viewing

TV licence required to watch BBC iPlayer in the UK, but no such rules on the way for the RTÉ Player

Minister Denis Naughten is bringing forward plans to crackdown on TV licence fee evasion this autumn.

THERE ARE NO plans to introduce a new licence system for the RTÉ digital player, according to the Minister for Communications, Denis Naughten.

New TV licensing rules in the UK came into effect yesterday, making it illegal for viewers to watch catch-up shows on BBC iPlayer without paying the licence fee.

However, Ireland will not follow in its neighbour’s footsteps.

The previous government committed to introducing a public service broadcasting charge to replace the TV licence fee.

At the time, the argument was made that people are now watching television across multiple platforms, no longer watching live programming as often and catching up with programmes on digital players.

However, Naughten confirmed there are no plans to replace the current television licence fee with an alternative licence.

No fee increase

The minister also confirmed to that there will be no increase to the TV licence fee – currently €160 – at this time.

The licence fee has not increased since 2008.

However, Naughten says he does have plans to tackle the high number of people who are evading the fee.

A spokesperson for the minister said Naughten “recognises the challenges that face the existing TV licence system and, in that context, he is working with his officials to examine measures that might be taken with a view to strengthening the system, with an emphasis on reducing the current, unacceptable levels of TV licence evasion”.

In the next Dáil term, Naughten plans to present a plan to Cabinet for approval that aims to tackle the issue.

Naughten said:

There is large scale evasion. Ireland is three times higher than the level of evasion in the United Kingdom and in Germany costing up to €40 million per year.
I recently had a meeting with An Post and expressed my concern.
I will be bringing specific proposals to Cabinet in the Autumn that will tackle the unacceptable rate of evasion and improve the overall operation of the TV licence system.

FactCheck: How many people actually work for foreign companies in Ireland?>

Read: “The Irish government has done absolutely nothing wrong” – Tim Cook>

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