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10th Aug 2023

RTÉ suffers further licence fee losses of nearly €1 million in August

Simon Kelly

More bad news for the national broadcaster.

RTÉ‘s TV licence fee revenue has taken another big hit, as figures released this week show around €900,000 lost compared to the same week in 2022.

Following the controversy of the payments scandal surrounding Ryan Tubridy, which culminated in a dramatic week of Oireachtas meetings in July, the national broadcaster has seen a huge drop in support for their licence fee, with members of the public boycotting the payment.

The first week in August saw 9,361 TV licence sales compared to 15,030 for the same time last year – a  37% drop according to data from the Department of Media.

The figures pile the pressure on RTÉ as they come off the back of a disappointing July, with €2,767,520 dropped throughout the month compared to July last year.

In total, RTÉ has haemorrhaged nearly €3.7 million in TV licence revenue since the start of the payments scandal started in June.

RTÉ’s licence fee losses prompt funding concerns

The significant and continuous loss of revenue has prompted concern in the government that the national broadcaster will require hefty funding in the next budget to keep all services afloat.

However, Minister for Media Catherine Martin said she will wait until September to see the full extent of trends in order to make any decisions on extra funding.

Last month, it was reported that the broadcaster also lost close to €1 million in revenue for the first week of July, as a direct result of the controversy.

Brendan Griffin, who sits on the Oireachtas board for Media and obtained the figures for the first week of July, said that the considerable drop in paid fees will lead to a “serious funding crisis” for the national broadcaster.

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