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BAI Unable to Give Reason For Eir Funding

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The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has been unable or unwilling to provided details as to how eir Sport, a Pay TV broadcaster, has gained funding from the regulator aimed at local radio, community broadcasters and free to air TV. The BAI insist that eir meets the requirements of the Broadcasting Act 2009, however they are not able to provide details as to how non-Pay TV subscribers can gain free access to programming produced for eirSport via the publicly funded Licence Fee.

According to Andrew Robinson, Head of Policy at the Regulator, eir have provided details of how eirSport can meet the requirements for the fund as laid out by the Broadcasting Act 2009. However, this information is not freely available to the public.

He states that eir will provide any programmes awarded under the scheme on a free basis. However, he was unable to advise how Licence Fee payers who do not subscribe to pay TV platforms Sky, dir and Vodafone can gain access to these licence fee funded productions without incurring a fee.

The Broadcasting Act 2009 clearly says that the sponsored broadcaster must be either a community TV service on an appropriate platform, eirSport is not a community channel, or it must be made available on to a Free Television Service AND available to 90% of the population something that Sky, Vodafone and eir platforms do not meet.