Communications Minister wants licence fee to help fund private broadcasters

Communications Minister wants licence fee to help fund private broadcasters

Communications Minister Denis Naughten has said that he is prepared to go to the European Commission to have the law changed to allow part of the licence fee be used to fund private broadcasters.

It would support their commitments to public sector broadcasting.

Denis Naughten said that he does not believe there should be legal barriers to the use of the licence fee - despite internal advice from his Department.

Communications Minister wants licence fee to help fund private broadcasters

Independent Broadcasters Ireland (IBI) said yesterday that the industry is at a tipping point where stations will soon no longer be able to fund news, sport and current affairs content.

The lobby group stated that a large portion of advertising spend is now going to companies like Google and Facebook.

They have accused the Department of Communications of having a preoccupation with the health of the state broadcaster RTÉ.

Minister Denis Naughten said today that he is open to changing the law to allow the partial funding of commercial broadcasters through the licence fee.

However, a Department briefing released under the Freedom Of Information act stated that such a move would breach EU State Aid rules and could be subject to legal action.

Minister Naughten acknowledged there may be legal issues, but suggested they could be overcome - saying he would bring the issue to Europe if necessary.

The IBI argues that their stations deserve some of the licence fee - given the vast amount of time dedicated to public-service content.

Minister Naughten said that there's a need to fund media to ensure there is reliable journalism that people can trust.

He added that the fake news stories that dominated the US election could become prevalent here if commercial media is not supported.

More on this topic

TV licence: A huge risk of backlash but Government have no choiceTV licence: A huge risk of backlash but Government have no choice

Dáil debating motion for licence fee money to be used to support independent radioDáil debating motion for licence fee money to be used to support independent radio

Fianna Fáil calls for multi-million euro fund for local radio stationsFianna Fáil calls for multi-million euro fund for local radio stations

Taoiseach criticises recommendations of report into reforming TV licence fee Taoiseach criticises recommendations of report into reforming TV licence fee

More in this Section

Cork TD tells colleagues to stop feeling sorry for themselves over Cabinet jobsCork TD tells colleagues to stop feeling sorry for themselves over Cabinet jobs

Charity urges caution after hearing about potential house partiesCharity urges caution after hearing about potential house parties

Irish Water to review need for hosepipe ban following heavy rainfallIrish Water to review need for hosepipe ban following heavy rainfall

'I was freaked out' says charity walker injured in buzzard attack'I was freaked out' says charity walker injured in buzzard attack


Lifestyle

Like it or not, video meetings are here to stay. Home editor Eve Kelliher gets an expert's secrets to preparing interiors for their close-up.How to ensure your home is always camera-ready in the Zoom era

Tougher plants, smaller plots and more communal spaces will grow in popularity, says Hannah Stephenson.What will gardens of the future look like?

Ciara McDonnell chats with four women who’ve decided to embrace their natural hair colour after time away from the salonBack to my roots: Four women who've decided to embrace their natural hair colour

Allowing your children to lead the way is the key to fun outdoor play, and there are many things you can build or buy to help them along, says Kya deLongchampsGarden adventures: Allowing your children to lead the way is the key to fun outdoor play

More From The Irish Examiner