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Oireachtas TV Launches on Sky

Oireachtas TV has lauched on pay platform Sky. In the Dáil the Minsiter for Communications, Alex White T.D., stated:-

"Sections 125 and 126 of the Broadcasting Act 2009 make the necessary provision to allow for the development of an Oireachtas TV channel to be known as the “Houses of the Oireachtas Channel” on the SAORVIEW TV network. The legislation provides that the channel should be established by the Commission of the Houses of the Oireachtas and that the oversight of the channel should be the responsibility of the Joint Administration Committee, which is a joint committee of the Houses of the Oireachtas.

The Commission of the Houses of the Oireachtas may enter into such contracts as are necessary to establish and maintain the Houses of the Oireachtas Channel. In this context, I should mention that section 126 of the Act amends Schedule 1 of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Act 2003 to enable the Commission to fund the channel and to meet all expenses incurred in this respect.

RTÉ has built, owns and controls the SAORVIEW TV network and is responsible for the roll-out, coverage and operation of that network. This is in accordance with Part 8 of the Broadcasting Act 2009, which provides that the development of the RTÉ network is an operational matter for RTÉ. RTÉ has informed my Department that there are on-going operational costs associated with the delivery of the SAORVIEW service. All broadcasters availing of SAORVIEW are required to pay their fair proportion of the associated costs.

Decisions regarding the carriage of Oireachtas TV on SAORVIEW are a matter for the Commission of the Houses of the Oireachtas, subject of course to the agreement of the necessary commercial terms with RTÉ as owner of the SAORVIEW network. I understand that contacts between officials of the Houses of the Oireachtas and SAORVIEW management have taken place and I hope that these contacts and discussions come to an early positive conclusion.