Independents pitch for €40m of RTÉ funding

Three hundred and fifty six independent production companies last year made more than 1,400 pitches to RTÉ to secure some of the €40.64m available to make television and radio programmes.

Some of the best-known independently produced work includes hit shows First Dates, Operation Transformation, and Home of the Year.

RTÉ’s Independent Production Unit’s newly published 2015 annual report confirms that, from the 1,402 proposals for TV and 128 for radio work, the unit commissioned 136 television programme and 11 radio shows.

This resulted in 406 hours of TV and 191 hours of radio last year.

The figures show that the vast majority of firms to pitch are based in Dublin —where 187 are located. Some 110 are located outside the capital, while a small number of overseas firms also pitched.

The report shows that RTÉ spent €7.9m on ‘lifestyle and entertainment formats’ — including shows such as Operation Transformation. The total broadcast hours for that category amounted to 87 hours. A further €8m was spent for 123 hours of drama, sport, and youth programming.

In addition, the RTÉ Independent Production Unit spent €6m on regional, educational, religious, and other factual programming for 80 broadcast hours, while €12.6m was spent on ‘entertainment, comedy and music’ for 105 broadcast hours.

One of the big winners in 2015 was Screentime Shinawil, which produced 28.5 hours of TV through its work on The Voice of Ireland, while Caboon/Blue Elf Productions produced six hours of the Mario Rosenstock Show.

The annual report shows that Vision Independent Productions broadcast eight and a half hours of Operation Transformation, while Coco Television broadcast six hours of Crimecall.

The unit last year spent €33.69m commissioning new shows.


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