Michael McDowell: TV licence system is a grotesque failure

RTÉ’s crisis is financial but State broadcaster must refresh itself for post-Covid revamp

  RTÉ logo from late 1960s imposed over more modern one: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland report on deteriorating licence compliance shows there must be a better way to subsidise public service broadcasting.

RTÉ logo from late 1960s imposed over more modern one: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland report on deteriorating licence compliance shows there must be a better way to subsidise public service broadcasting.

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has commissioned a report into the financial state and prospects of RTÉ. That report suggests that RTÉ is facing both acute financial problems and an existential crisis. The solution, predictably, is more public funding. I buy the idea that if we want good quality public service broadcasting it involves two things – having a State broadcasting service and being willing to pay for it.

The report suggests that there has been a rapid deterioration in TV licence fee receipts and in commercial advertising revenues during the pandemic.

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