| 17.2°C Dublin

Virgin TV boss calls for waiver of station levy

 

Close

Paul Farrell, MD of Virgin Media Television, wants TV stations to get a similar deal to local radio on the levy

Paul Farrell, MD of Virgin Media Television, wants TV stations to get a similar deal to local radio on the levy

Paul Farrell, MD of Virgin Media Television, wants TV stations to get a similar deal to local radio on the levy

The managing director of Virgin Media Television Paul Farrell has written to Media Minister Catherine Martin to outline the financial difficulties facing broadcasters. He has asked her to waive the annual levy paid by the station to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI).

Earlier this year the levy paid by local radio stations to the regulator was waived for six months, which was the equivalent of support of around €1m to those companies.

In a recent letter to Martin, Farrell said: "You will know that the downward financial pressures on broadcast media is acute, and becoming worse."

He said that this was due in part to a sharp drop in advertising revenue.

"This Covid-related problem comes on the back of massive displacement online. The Future of Media Commission will I hope consider the longer term issues, and the radical change required to address them. This letter is, however, to ask you to waive immediately the BAI levy for television. Redress has already been provided for radio."

He said that the commission should recognise "the need to fundamentally rethink and re-imagine national media policy".

"The point of this letter is to ask you to take the immediate step that would support television over the coming months, while the Commission is established and undertakes its work and our economy is at a historic nadir."

He is seeking a meeting with Martin.

The letter was sent in late July and Farrell congratulated Martin and her colleagues on the July Stimulus Package.

"It is a major economic intervention and one we must all hope succeeds in saving and then rebooting our economy," he wrote.

Last week the Government agreed the terms of reference and membership of the Future of Media Commission. It will be chaired by Professor Brian MacCraith, a former president of Dublin City University.

The commission will focus on the future of RTÉ, which is in a financial crisis, but will also look at "well functioning media systems".

Among its tasks will be "to ensure that the public has access to high quality, impartial, independent journalism, reporting on matters of local, regional, national, European and international importance."

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of business.

This field is required


Most Watched





Privacy