Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (200)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

200. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the amount in annual funding given to the media in Ireland inclusive of the TV licence; the breakdown of the recipients of this funding; the amount they receive; and the items on which the funding is spent. [7906/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Tourism)

The total funding for media allocated through my Department in 2020 amounted to €259.39m.

Total net TV licence receipts for 2020 were €212.52m. RTÉ received €197.65m and the Broadcasting Fund received €14.88m. The Broadcasting Fund administers grants to the broadcasting sector through the Archiving Scheme and the Sound and Vision Scheme. The Schemes are limited by statute to audiovisual and sound media and are administered by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. Further information on the successful applicants in receipt of funding under the Sound and Vision Scheme is available on the BAI's website at: Sound & Vision 4 - Broadcast Authority of Ireland (bai.ie)

Total exchequer funding for 2020 was €46.87m. TG4 was in receipt of €34.233m in current and €3m in capital funding in 2020. The remaining €9.64m in exchequer funding was secured in 2020 in response to the challenges felt by the sector as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic caused by a reduction in commercial income due to the current crisis. This comprised €0.839m reimbursed to BAI in 2021 in respect of the Broadcasting Levy Waiver for Quarters 1 and 2 of 2020 which benefitted all broadcasters by €1m. The BAI met the balance of the waiver from cost savings in 2020. Additional COVID-19 funding support of €1.9m was secured for TG4. A further €2m in exchequer supports were secured for the sector under the July stimulus package and a further €4.9m was allocated to the Sound and Vision Scheme in December 2020, both of which will fund projects for the broadcasting sector during 2020 and 2021.

RTE and TG4 provide audited Annual Reports and Accounts in respect of each year which details how their funding is spent. The most recent Accounts for 2019 are available on their websites at www.rte.ie and www.tg4.ie . Details of expenditure in 2020 will be outlined in the 2020 Reports when these are published later this year.

In addition, the Government has put in place a range of supports for all businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which are available to the media sector.

Significant Government expenditure has also been incurred on advertising in 2020 across all media sectors, particularly in the context of communications in relation to the COVID-19 health restrictions which has provided a boost in advertising revenues for the sector.