An additional €10.5 million has been allocated to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) Sound and Vision scheme this year in a significant boost for producers and broadcasters of Irish television and radio.
Some €5 million will be assigned to fund content projects that raise awareness of climate change, promote climate action and support behavioural change, Minister for Media Catherine Martin announced on Wednesday. Half of this funding will be provided by Minister for Climate Eamon Ryan's department.
Ms Martin has also asked the BAI to ringfence €2 million for live music broadcasting projects in a repeat and extension of a €1.4 million scheme run last year to help the pandemic-stricken live performance sector.
A further €2 million will be used to increase funding for Irish language production, while €1.5 million extra was also allocated to the most recent funding round of Sound and Vision, the recipients of which were announced in March.
Sound and Vision is usually funded by a portion of television licence fee receipts. Through it, some €13.1 million was awarded in 2021 to production companies with commissions from broadcasters.
This figure includes the live music broadcasting initiative separately funded by Ms Martin’s department, while a further €2.58 million was also granted to radio stations last year under a Covid-19 initiative operated through the BAI scheme.
“It is essential that we inform people of the threats posed by climate change and bring people on board with measures to tackle it. This Sound and Vision programming will show people what is happening to our climate and how to stop it,” Ms Martin said.
The Government committed to supporting media content relating to the climate emergency in last year’s Climate Action Plan.
“Through the expertise of the BAI, and the vision of Ireland’s programme makers, we can ensure a range of innovative and creative programming to bring climate awareness, literacy and empowerment into homes across the country,” said Mr Ryan.
The funding for live music broadcasting projects is part of “vital” support to the live performance sector, Ms Martin said, adding that music was “very important” to both her personally and the Irish people.
The Minister also said she was “a strong champion” of the Irish language and looked forward to watching and listening to the content the extra funding will deliver.