TG4 awarded nearly €1m additional State funding
Irish language broadcaster last year received State grant aid of €32.7m, 89% of its income
TG4 presenter Fiona Ní Fhlaithearta, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development Sean Kyne and TG4 DG Alan Esslemont.
TG4 has been awarded an extra €985,000 on top of the station’s existing State funding to help it support new jobs and build its audience.
The extra grant aid will also be used to fund a number of initiatives relating to bliain na Gaeilge and other specific projects, the broadcaster said on Monday.
In 2017 some 89 per cent of the Irish language broadcaster’s income came from grant aid, up slightly on the previous year at €32.7 million. Its total commercial income, including advertising and sponsorship, was €4.07 million – up 12 per cent on the previous year.
Under TG4’s new strategy, the broadcaster is aiming to support “160 new jobs, promote growth and build audiences”.
Speaking at the launch of its corporate strategy, director general Alan Esslemont said the funding was “recognition of the good work being done by TG4”.
“TG4 sustains hundreds of jobs in the Irish independent production sector and demonstrates real commitment to nurturing Irish creativity and talent.
“In the decade to 2017, TG4 spent over €200 million with the sector. In 2016 we contributed €62 million to the national earnings supporting over 750 jobs,” Mr Esslemont said.
However, he noted the broadcaster is “at a crossroads”, facing competition from both national and global players with “major content budgets”.
The broadcaster, based in Baile na hAbhann, Galway, attracts 500,000 viewers daily with a 48 per cent weekly reach with national audiences. It is currently the seventh most-watched channel in Ireland.
With its new strategy and increased funding, TG4 aims to become the sixth most-watched channel in Ireland and grow its audience share by 2022.
“Our funding requirements are small relative to our target impact as we seek restoration of pre-recessionary funding levels. This means an average increase in current funding of five per cent per annum over the next five years and a modest increase in capital funding,” Mr Esslemont said.