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Broadcasting Sector

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 22 February 2022

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

Ceisteanna (319)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

319. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media her plans to make emergency funding available to the national broadcaster in order to upgrade its streaming and on-demand offering to licence fee payers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9724/22]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Tourism)

Under the provisions of the Broadcasting Act 2009, RTÉ is funded through a combination of licence fee revenues and commercial revenues, the latter being obtained largely from advertising. The Act also sets out the public service objects required to be fulfilled by RTÉ, as well as ensuring RTE's independence in the pursuance of those objects.

In recognition of the financial challenges facing the broadcaster, additional exchequer funding of €8.6m and €9.3m was provided to RTÉ for 2019 and 2020 respectively.

RTÉ had also sought additional funding in early 2020 to address the financial impact of COVID-19. However, as the financial situation for RTÉ improved in the course of the year, additional funding was not required.

Separately, in order to support a number of key strategic initiatives, RTÉ disposed of some land at its Donnybrook campus in 2017. The net proceeds of this disposal are ringfenced for specific purposes including investment in digital.

The financial position of RTÉ is reviewed on an ongoing basis by way of a governance structure which includes my Department and NewERA. My Department has not received any further requests for emergency funding from RTÉ.

The wider question of ensuring that public service broadcasting and media in Ireland is appropriately and sustainably funded, was a key element of the terms of reference of the Future of Media Commission. The Commission, Chaired by Professor Brian McCraith, completed its work in September last year, and the resultant report is being considered at present with a view to it being brought to Government shortly.

Question No. 320 answered with Question No. 317.
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