We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Lee Jordan via Flickr
Digital TV

TV3 slams Minister's decision to approve RTÉ channels

Communications minister Pat Carey gives his blessing for five new digital channels – but TV3 is “shocked” by the news.

TV3 HAS SAID it is “shocked” by the decision of communications minister Pat Carey to approve RTÉ proposals to create five new digital TV channels.

Carey today gave his approval for the establishment of five new channels, which include the currently online-only RTÉ News Now channel, on the provision that the broadcaster have HD versions of RTÉ One and RTÉ Two ready by mid-2013.

Other channels RTÉ will create include a standalone ‘RTÉjr’ channel for children’s programming, a HD select channel broadcasting RTÉ Two programming (primarily sports events) in HD, an RTÉ Plus channel time-delaying RTÉ One by an hour, and an RTÉ Aertel Digital channel.

Among the provisions laid down by Carey is that RTÉ would have to assist other broadcasters – most obviously TV3 – in the provision of HD channels. RTÉ will also be barred from carrying ads on the news or children’s channels.

But this evening, in a strongly-worded press release, TV3 slammed the move and said it would “extend RTÉ’s dominance in media when it is already the most dominant State broadcaster in Europe”.

“RTÉ TV has operated a deficit for three years, despite receiving hundreds of millions of licence fee money, and prevented any commercial operator from any involvement in the DTT platform,” it continued, saying TV3 would lobby the new government to reverse the decision, which would “destroy jobs, growth and investment in the media sector.”

The move came, it added, at a time when “media is on its knees due to a media market crash which has been exacerbated by RTÉ’s below-cost selling of advertising; and in the week following the closure of two national newspapers, the Sunday Tribune and the Star on Sunday.”

The timing of the move had also raised “serious questions”, TV3 concluded.

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.