IBI Call for Public Funding in light of JNLR Results
Scott Williams, Chairperson of the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI), has called on the government to divert more of the Licence fee to the 36 Independent Radio Broadcasters that the IBI represent. This comes as the recent JNLR figures show that 2.5million people listen to independent radio in comparison to 1.3million listeners for Radio 1 and 2FM, while lyric FM has a 139,000 weekly reach.
Scott Williams goes on to say “RTÉ is not the sole public service broadcaster in the state, as each week independent radio broadcasts over 1,300 hours of public service content, however, RTÉ is considered Ireland’s only “public service broadcaster” and receives 100% of the licence fee”.
Since 2006 the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has taken some of the licence fee from RTÉ for the Sound and Vision fund, which is utilized by both the Public Service and Independent Broadcasters. The fund currently stands at 7% of the licence fee.
TG4 is independent from RTÉ and is Ireland's second Public Service Broadcaster.
The licence fee also funds the national Performing Groups with around 7% going towards such groups each year. RTÉ Radio gets around 19% of the licence fee, the vast majority of which goes towards Radio 1 and RnaG.
Mr. Willams concluded by saying “The introduction of the new Public Service Broadcasting charge presents Minister Rabbitte with an opportunity to address this funding imbalance and level the playing field for the listeners of independent radio”.