Thursday, 16 November 2023
Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
155. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the total amount spent by her Department on advertisement of and promotion of the TV licence for each of the past five years, including to date in 2023; if additional funding has been spent since the fall off in licence fee renewals in July 2023, if the messaging in formal advertising has changed to try to address the fall off; if beneficiaries of licence fee revenue other than RTÉ have been highlighted; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50421/23]
The TV licence plays an essential role in providing funding for public service broadcasting and for public service content creators. Public Service Media supports the wellbeing and health of our society and our democracy.
Funding is provided by the TV licence for RTÉ and also for the Broadcasting Fund, which supports the Sound and Vision Scheme and the Archiving Scheme. The Sound and Vision Scheme supports television and radio content creation, and also plays an important role in allowing content creation for local and community radio stations.
Part 9 of the Broadcasting Act 2009 provides the statutory basis for the TV licence, including provisions on the obligation to be in possession of a TV licence. Although RTÉ is not the TV licence issuing agent, nor the sole beneficiary of TV licence receipts, the broadcaster airs adverts to remind the public of this statutory obligation to purchase a TV licence. These TV licence advertisements are fully funded and produced by RTÉ, and my Department does not pay for, or provide specific funding towards the costs of such adverts.
Given RTÉ’s statutory independence, as provided for by Section 98 of the Broadcasting Act, as Minister, I have no direct role in RTÉ’s day-to-day scheduling activities and content, and as such my Department does not holds no records concerning the number, frequency or cost of TV licence advertisements.