THE number of people watching drivel on crappy TV stations such as Living, Dave or Comedy Extra has more than trebled in the last eight years as RTE has shed viewers.
While all-day viewer numbers for RTE One have fallen from 25.4 per cent in 2003 to 23.2 per cent last year, the amount of people watching jaded re-runs of Sex and the City, Friends or Gray's Anatomy on other TV channels has absolutely rocketed from 12.9 per cent in 2003 up to 33.6 per cent last year.
While prime time peak figures for RTE One are stronger, falling just 4.5 per cent since 2003, the volume of people tuning into "other stations" at peak times has almost trebled from 10.4 per cent in 2003 to 27.1 per cent last year.
All-day figures for RTE Two have plummeted by 15 per cent since 2003, according to an analysis of the station's annual reports over the last decade.
"Like all broadcasters, RTE has faced the challenge of the increasing number of niche television channels, and the rapidly increasing penetration of digital television in Irish households -- which now stands at 70 per cent," said a spokeswoman for RTE.
The spokeswoman added that 17 of the 20 most popular programmes broadcast across all channels last year were broadcast by RTE.
Sunday Indo Business