Government announces extra €50m in funding for RTÉ

The government has announced an extra €50m in funding for RTE but put off making a long-term decision on supporting the troubled broadcaster.

Government announces extra €50m in funding for RTÉ

The government has announced an extra €50m in funding for RTÉ but put off making a long-term decision on supporting the troubled broadcaster.

An extra €10m will now be made available annually over five years while a new commission will also look at the long term strategy of funding RTE.

Following the decision at Cabinet today, Communications Minister Richard Bruton said the model of funding and supporting media and RTÉ was changing, particularly with online streaming and viewers.

He denied that putting the commission decision back until the autumn of next year that the government was avoiding the issue until after next year's expected general election.

Under the plans, a Commission on Irish Public Service Broadcasting is being set up by the Department of the Taoiseach to bring forward proposals by September 2020.

The government said the commission will review the current approach and make recommendations on setting a new strategic direction for public service broadcasting provided at national, regional and local level in light of international experience and future trends.

In addition, an extra €10m a year will be made available for RTÉ's plans.

However, RTÉ director general Dee Forbes is expected to tell a committee later this afternoon that the broadcaster cannot wait five to seven years for a long term strategy and changes for the sector or any overhaul of the licence fee system.

Minister Bruton said: “RTÉ must make changes to reposition itself.

“However, it is also important that a careful assessment take place of what are the models and funding mechanisms that can best support the continuing important public service goals.

“This is Government meeting RTÉ halfway on the financial challenges they face.”

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