'The key mission is to protect content spend - that should be the last thing that goes' - RTE One and RTE 2 controller Adrian Lynch
Spending on television content should be the "last thing that goes" as RTE looks at cutting costs, according to RTE One and RTE 2 controller Adrian Lynch.
Having recorded a deficit of €20m last year, RTE is expected to soon launch a voluntary redundancy scheme, and the organisation will also be restructured in October.
However, spending on content will not be impacted.
Speaking at the RTE autumn schedule launch at RTE on Thursday, Mr Lynch said, "The key mission is to make sure that we're serving the audience and the key mission is to protect content spend as much as we can.
"That should be the last thing that goes. It really should. The focus needs to be there because we're providing a service."
Dancing With the Stars proved a massive success for RTE last year and is returning for a second series. While it cost 15 to 20 per cent more to produce than its Sunday night predecessor, The Voice of Ireland, it had higher ratings.
"When you take a format like Dancing with the Stars which is so successful and coming from the UK, as the biggest show in the UK, that's quite a daunting thing to take on," said Mr Lynch.
"I think the company [Shinwhil] and judges and talent involved really over-delivered for the Irish audience, which is great. That show really had scale.
"The amazing thing is when you look back in terms of hundreds of thousands it did roughly the same [ratings] or better than the first Voice series back in 2011. That's incredible."
He added, "It is slightly more expensive [to produce than The Voice] but I think in order to do the show you really want to make sure the production design is to the highest quality, because that makes the show.
"You want to make sure you have the best costume department, the best make-up department. We brought in fantastic dancers from around the world as well as Irish dancers and the best choreographers to really put on a show that was going to engage people and it did."
The new season also sees a shift in focus for RTE2 from a younger demographic of 15-24 to an older, wider scope of 20-44.
"It's still younger Irish adults," says Lynch. "We're shifting the target demo a bit so it's the under 45s and that's why we're doing things like Crowded House with Brendan Courtney. It's such a massive issue in Ireland. And the Trauma series following young doctors.
"If you look at the big shows young people wwant to watch they're watching sports and they're watching dancing - big shows.
"I think sometimes when you're running channels and you get into micro targetting actually doesn't necessarily work. If you go broader with things like First Dates it brings 25-44 and it brings 15-24 so you're getting both and bring in more people."
While RTE2 may have failed to drag the teen audience away from their phones thus far, there is a new focus on the RTE Player with a view of pulling them back to linear.
"We're working closely with the player," he says. "For example the player commissioned How to Adult with Stefanie Preissner. Stefanie would do stuff that is online first and then we bring it to linear so there is going to be a lot more of that where we can actually experiment in short form and so on and experiment in social using our own platforms and then bring it back to linear. You want to migrate that young audience back."