What is it?
The Houses of the Oireachtas launched its dedicated television channel Oireachtas TV on 22 September 2014, bringing unfiltered information about the political process to over 1.1 million households nationwide.
Why is Oireachtas TV important?
The business of the Dáil, Seanad and Oireachtas Committees will be broadcast to the majority of Irish people in a manner that is instant, accessible, factual, objective and impartial. In viewing the proceedings of Leinster House first hand and unfiltered, they can follow and judge the performance of their parliament and parliamentarians at the click of a button.
Which channels is it available on?
Oireachtas TV is available throughout Ireland on the following channels:
The channel is also being streamed here on the Oireachtas website and on the Oireachtas app.
What is it costing?
Channel production and presentation will cost approximately €200,000 per annum. Distribution will cost €250,000, which is the discounted fee for access to the Sky platform. As UPC and Eircom are regulated in Ireland as cable providers, they are obliged to carry it free of charge.
Why are we spending this extra amount?
For 25 years, the Oireachtas has made every hour and every minute of the proceedings of the Dáil, Seanad and Oireachtas committees available to broadcasters free of charge. Yet, just a small fraction of this coverage makes it to our TV screens, often at off-peak hours. So the previous approach has proven itself wasteful and this new more direct approach is a much more efficient use of limited resources.
What is the reach of Oireachtas TV?
Oireachtas TV is currently relaying the business of our national parliament to over 1.1 million homes across Ireland. The channel is delivering unprecedented public access to the work of the Dáil, Seanad and Committees in a cost effective manner.
Is there any indication on levels on public interest in the project?
During the period 2011 to 2014, UPC undertook two nationwide customer surveys to ascertain customer perception, usage and preferences in relation to the pilot play out channel broadcast on UPC 207. It found that over 55% per cent of UPC’s 340,000 approx. customers watch the pilot channel. Moreover, it found that the level of viewing had increased year on year.
What similar services exist in other democracies?
The service will be similar to BBC Parliament in the UK and C-SPAN in North America in providing unfiltered information about the political process to interested viewers. In fact, 25 other parliaments worldwide offer a television service.