Public Service Broadcasters spend millions of euro each year on independently produced programming. This is vital in supporting a vibrant independent sector, including in the regions. Section 116 of the Broadcasting Act 2009 sets out the minimum threshold of €40m which RTE must make available each year for the commissioning of television and radio programmes from the independent production sector. In 2018, RTE spent €40.1 million, broken down as follows: €38.9 million (Television) and €1.2 million (Radio). A further €0.2m was incurred by RTÉ on non-statutory, independent produced television programmes, resulting in a total spend of €40.3m incurred on commissioned programmes (2017: €40.2 m).
While RTE continues to meet the statutory minimum, it has in the past spent in excess of this amount as resources permitted. In addition to RTE funding, producers of newly commissioned RTÉ programmes also attracted funding from other sources. Several dramas, animation and various other programme genres received a total of €3.228m in Section 481 funding (tax credit created to incentivise investment in film and TV production). BAI Sound & Vision, which is financed from licence fee monies, provided €4.731m to RTÉ commissioned programmes. RTÉ also entered into a number of co-productions including with the BBC, BBC NI and ARTE (a French-German free-to-air television network that promotes cultural programming).