Tuesday 16 July 2019

RTÉ working on major plan to slash its costs

RTÉ is drawing up new wide-ranging cost-saving plans which the organisation aims to announce in the autumn. Stock photo
RTÉ is drawing up new wide-ranging cost-saving plans which the organisation aims to announce in the autumn. Stock photo
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

RTÉ is drawing up new wide-ranging cost-saving plans which the organisation aims to announce in the autumn.

It submitted a five-year plan outlining its aspirations for the future last year, but it was dependent on additional public income.

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On the basis of this plan, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland recommended a €30m annual funding increase. However, there is a strong expectation that the Government will not give the organisation an increase in funding, while hopes have dimmed that an overhaul of the licence fee collection will deliver significant extra cash.

As previously reported by the Sunday Independent, a proposal for the Revenue Commissioners to collect the licence fee, thus reducing evasion, is not expected to proceed.

Last week, RTÉ reported a loss of €13m for 2018, even though revenues have stabilised.

Pat Kiely, managing director of commercial rival Virgin Media Television, said his main priority was to focus on his own business but that it was important to note what its channels were achieving on vastly smaller budgets.

He also claimed there seemed to be no appetite within the Government to tackle RTÉ's deficits.

"There does seem there is a reluctance to take any corrective action and that needs to be addressed," he said.

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