Written Answers. - RTE Advertising Revenue.

Enda Kenny

Question:

160 Mr. E. Kenny asked the Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht the proposals, if any, he has to remove the cap on Radio Éireann; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Section 3 of the Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act, 1993, repealed section 3 of the Broadcasting Act, 1990, which imposed statutory limits on the revenue which RTE could derive from advertisements, sponsorship and other forms of commercial promotion in broadcasts and on the amount of time to be given by RTE to broadcasts, effectively repealing the "cap".

Section 2 of the Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act, 1993, provides that the total daily times for broadcasting advertisements fixed by the RTE Authority and the maximum period so fixed to be given to advertisements in any one hour shall be subject to the approval of the Minister which is, in fact, a restoration of the pre-1990 Act situation.

I have already given my consent to a return to pre-1990 advertising times on RTE television. While I have considered the case put forward by the RTE Authority, I have not, at this stage, on the basis of the arguments put forward by the authority, been able to give my consent to an increase in radio advertising times. Furthermore, theProgramme for a Partnership Government 1993-97 states that we will take measures to ensure that commercial local radio remains viable. My decision is also informed by that consideration. It is for the Authority to decide if it wishes to pursue the matter further.