Written answers

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

Public Service Broadcasters

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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130. To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will provide continuous multi-year annual funding for TG4 similar to that which RTÉ currently receives; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27768/14]

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Minister, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; Dublin South West, Labour)
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RTÉ is funded through both a Grant-In-Aid for a proportion of television licence fee receipts and through the commercial revenue it generates. TG4 is funded by way of a combination of direct exchequer Grant-In-Aid, television licence fee receipts and commercial revenue. Both Public Service Broadcasters are funded on an annual basis. In regard to the actual mechanism for helping to determine the level of the licence fee, this is set out in Section 124 of the Broadcasting Act 2009. In particular it allows for the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) to recommend in a report to me, as Minister, an annual licence fee modification. This recommendation is based on an annual review of the extent to which both Public Service Broadcasters have fulfilled their commitments in respect of the public service objects stated in their annual statement of performance commitments for that financial year and the adequacy or otherwise of public funding to enable the corporations to meet those public service objects.

The recommendation from the Authority informs any decision I, as Minister, may take in conjunction with the Government on adjusting the current level of television fee or otherwise.

In addition to the statutory requirement for annual reviews of the public service broadcasters, Section 124(8) of the Broadcasting Act 2009 requires the BAI to also carry out a long term forward looking 5-year review on the adequacy or otherwise of the funding of public service broadcasters. The first 5 year review was undertaken by the BAI in 2013 and will assist in informing any policy decisions I may take on the future public funding of public service broadcasters.

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