RTÉ to Resubmit RTÉjr Plans to Minister
RTÉ's plan to remove the RTÉjr strand of programming from RTÉ TWO has been knocked back. According to the Minister for Communications the plans, which were submitted to his department in April 2013, have been returned to RTÉ and RTÉ are to re-submit plans for RTÉ TWO and RTÉjr later this year. No decision was made by the Minister in relation to original plans, though it was expected that he would refuse RTÉ's proposal to move such programming off RTÉ TWO's schedules. Under the Broadcasting Act 2009 any changes to a public service broadcasters (RTÉ, TG4 and Oireachtas TV) must be first approved by the Minister for Communications and the minister must consult with various organisations.
In 2011 former Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Carey, approved the setting up of RTÉjr, RTÉ News Now, RTÉ TWO HD and RTÉ ONE +1. RTÉ officially launched RTÉjr in April 2013 this coincided with their proposal to remove RTÉjr programmes from RTÉ TWO. The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources consulted with various bodies about the planned changes to RTÉ TWO, and it was expected the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Recourses, Pat Rabbitte, was to rule against such plans. The Minister made no decision and it seems that RTÉ are now to make a different proposal to the original proposal.
In an email received by CCÉ the minister stated the following "As you are aware, I received a submission last year from RTÉ in relation to moving all children’s programming from RTÉ Two to RTÉjr. As circumstances have changed in the meantime, I can confirm that RTÉ are now re-examining the original submission with a view to resubmitting a revised and updated proposal later this year. The Department will recommence its consideration of the proposals once they are re-submitted."
So far none of the work or documents on RTÉ's proposals for RTÉjr and RTÉ TWO have been released to the public.
Sound & Vision Funding
The Minister also advised that the distribution of Sound & Vision Funding was the role of the BAI and he could not comment on their use of Sound & Vision funding for programmes on Pay TV operators. “Applications for the Sound and Vision scheme may be submitted by television or radio broadcasters or by independent production companies. As awards under the scheme are made by the BAI, I have requested that they respond to you directly on this matter."
In relation to TG4 HD he advised "TG4 is an independent national broadcaster whose remit, obligations, principal objects and associated powers are set out in the Broadcasting Act 2009. Section 98 of the Act provides that TG4 shall be independent in the pursuance of these objects, subject to the requirements of the Act. As such, the question of when the channel will begin broadcasting on SAORVIEW in High Definition is a matter for the broadcaster. I can confirm, however, that TG4 is currently in the process of transition from Standard Definition to High Definition operations."