RTÉ licence fee: The big picture

WHEN Dee Forbes took on the role of director general of RTÉ last year it was evident she would bring not just international broadcasting experience to the job but also commercial nous.

Her decisions to shed 200 jobs and sell off some of the broadcaster’s land at its Montrose headquarters in Dublin are painful but necessary steps to address its financial difficulties.

However, at the same time, her comments yesterday on RTÉ radio that the TV licence fee should be doubled from its current €160 goes against both common and commercial sense and sparks of the sense of entitlement of which the station’s broadcasters are often accused.

While RTÉ undoubtedly produces some superb television and radio programmes, it enjoys an unfair advantage over its commercial rivals by having access to both the bulk of the licence fee and advertising income.

If the cost of a TV licence, or future public service broadcasting charge to include the internet, is to rise it is only fair that other broadcasters should get a bigger slice of the cake.

Ms Forbes needs to see the bigger picture.


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