Broadcast funding to decrease next year


Makers of television and radio programmes will share a lower sum of funding from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland next year, as the BAI is set to put money into a new scheme for the archiving of television and radio material.

Members of the authority met on Monday and decided to hold three rounds of the Sound and Vision fund during 2013, with a maximum sum of €3.5 million available in each round for the production of new television and radio programmes.

The €10.5 million total is 27 per cent lower than the sum of €14.4 million that has been awarded to date for programme-making this year, with a further set of funds due to be approved next month. Independent producers had been anticipating the drop as the BAI had flagged that a portion of the 7 per cent of licence fee money that normally goes into the Sound and Vision fund would be diverted to the new Broadcast Archiving Scheme.

The authority will next year award a maximum of €2.8 million under the first round of the delayed archive scheme, which is designed to preserve Ireland’s broadcasting heritage.

It will be open to all broadcasters, including RTÉ, which has a statutory obligation to keep archives and employs about 30 people in its archives division. Other broadcasters have traditionally kept archives on a more ad-hoc basis.

The Sound and Vision fund was criticised in the Comptroller and Auditor General’s 2011 report, which said it was not sufficiently transparent or accountable.