The return of sporting fixtures in October has result in a boom for Irish Broadcasters. 48.5% of viewers tuned to Irish Broadcasters in October 2020, the highest rating for Irish channels since February when most sporting fixtures came to an end due to COVID-19 restrictions. RTÉ\'s average share of the audience was up 11% month-on-month, on an annual basis it was down 2% in October 2020. Virgin Media was up 6% month-on-month, and up 20% year-on-year. The return of sport and continued corona coverage helping them retrieve something from a summer lacking sport. Meanwhile the sports wars between eir and Virgin Media have seen both sports channels see their shares fall on an annual basis. TG4 increased its audience share by 15% month-on-month, but saw a 53% increase compared to October 2019.
According to the Department of Communications Annual Report 2019 RTÉ received €8.1 million in extra funding in 2019 compared to 2018. In total RTÉ received €196.6 million in license fee funding, this compares to €188.5 million in 2018. TG4\'s funding from the exchequer was restore in 2019, meaning its 2018 portion of the license fee of €4.5 million came to zero in 2019. The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland received €14.8 million in license fee funding in 2019, an increase of €300,000 from 2018. €222.7 million was raised from TV Licences in 2019.
RTÉ's Independent Commissions and Production Unit have published their Annual report for 2019. RTÉ cut funding to scripted drama and comedy by 29% to €3.2million. The report also shows that RTÉ's decision to move Children's programming out of the broadcaster has cause the broadcaster to continue to under fund the children's content. 2019 saw a slight rise in children's content spend of €248,000, bring the spend to €3.6 million, this compares to RTÉ's overall cost in 2015 of €9.4 million for children's content. €300,000 worth of Drama was commission for Radio in both years, with no children's commissions for Radio in either year.
The Sunday Business Post reports that RTÉ do not think they will make a saving of €8million euro or anything close to it upon the move of the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) to the National Concert Hall (NCH) next year. However, the independent report from Helen Boaden and Mediatique commissioned by RTÉ begs to differ. The report details a partnership with the government and RTÉ in the running and funding of the NSO as an independent organisation (or part of the the NCH). The Boaden report outlined seven options open to RTÉ and the government, with the government agreeing to move the NSO to the NCH in 2021, however it looks like they will not partner with RTÉ as report suggested it should.
The Irish public service broadcaster, RTÉ, will gain €20million in annual funding following Catherine Martin\'s (Minister for Media) decision to move the Irish National Symphony Orchestra to the National Concert Hall. Last year RTÉ benefited from the return of TG4\'s portion of the License Fee, which was worth €4.5m in 2018, followed by a €10m increase in funding at the end of 2019 for 2020. RTÉ have yet to go on record in relation to the increase in funding over the last 3 years, only to say it look forward to supporting a smooth and successful transition from RTÉ of the NSO. Meanwhile, Irish Language public service broadcaster, TG4, thank the government for an increase in their public funding of €3.5m in Budget 2021.
Irish TV broadcasters saw their audience share grown in September with a 44% share of the TV audience. RTÉ average share of the audience was up 6% month-on-month, on an annual basis it was down 9% in September 2020. Virgin Media was also up 10% month-on-month, and up 7% year-on-year. Returning and new shows helping them retrieve something from a summer lacking sport. Meanwhile the sports wars between eir and Virgin Media have seen both sports channels see their shares fall.