Government to provide €50m in extra funding to RTÉ over five years 10 months ago

Government to provide €50m in extra funding to RTÉ over five years

Minister Richard Bruton announced the news on Tuesday afternoon.

The Government has agreed to provide an additional €10 million funding towards public service broadcasting, with approximately €9 million going to RTÉ in the next year.

In light of its financial difficulties, RTÉ submitted a revised strategy which has now been considered by Government, following an evaluation by NewERA (New Economy and Recovery Authority), which has specific responsibility to provide financial and commercial advice to Government Ministers in relation to leading State companies, bodies and assets.

The €10 million in funding announced by the Government today is in addition to the allocation of €10m additional funding made between 2018 and 2019. In total, €50 million will be paid to RTÉ over the space of five years.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton confirmed details of the funding on Tuesday while announcing that a Commission on the Future of Irish Public Service Broadcasting is to be established.

The commission will review the current approach and make recommendations to Government on setting a new strategic direction for public service broadcasting provided at national, regional and local level in light of international experience and future trends.

Commenting on the RTÉ funding, Bruton said: "RTÉ must make changes to reposition itself. However, it is also important that a careful assessment take place of what are the models and funding mechanisms that can best support the continuing important public service goals.

"This is Government meeting RTÉ halfway on the financial challenges they face."

The Government also agreed that RTÉ should not proceed with the part sale of its site, as was originally intended, until the work of the commission is completed and considered by Government, given that its recommendations may impact on decisions regarding the size and requirements of RTÉ.

Commenting on the establishment of the commission, Bruton added: "Broadcasting – national and local, is an important channel for expression of culture and community, for supporting creative talent and for independent, objective reporting of current affairs for citizens.

"Massive transformation is challenging the existing model. Today, the main source of news for 52% of over 65 year olds is TV, with 18% being from radio.  In sharp contrast, of 18-24 year olds, it is 18% who rely on TV, with 6% sourcing their news from radio and 71% from social media and other online sources.

"This gives rise to new challenges. Today, the Government agreed to establish a Commission on the Future of Irish Public Service Broadcasting to consider how best to deliver and fund public service broadcasting into the future."