RTE, readers deserve better
Published 15/08/2010 | 05:00
Sir -- Last Sunday's frontpage piece by Daniel McConnell on television sponsorship and editorial impartiality was unbalanced and unfair to RTE.
The article represented as "controversial" the revenues earned by RTE in commercial sponsorships and claimed that these "raise concerns over impartiality" at RTE. That RTE is required to earn commercial income to cover public-service objectives, and raises every cent of its sponsorship revenues fully within broadcast regulatory codes, went unsaid.
The core of the piece instead was a set of blatantly self-interested claims made against RTE by competitor, TV3. These were accepted without question by your reporter. The TV3 spokesperson for example claimed that RTE is wasteful in "warehousing thousands of hours of programming that never see the light of day". This is wholly untrue. The usage rate by RTE of its programming is 98 per cent, an audited figure, high by industry norms.