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Oireachtas TV to cost €15m over five years


'Backbenchers have little power. They are glorified councillors.'

'Backbenchers have little power. They are glorified councillors.'

'Backbenchers have little power. They are glorified councillors.'

The Government is to spend an estimated €15m on the Oireachtas broadcasting service over the next five years, according to new tender documents.

The Houses of the Oireachtas Service is looking for a company to operate the broadcasting service, with the contract expected to initially be for three years with an option to extend for another two years.

The estimated spend is based on the contract running the full five-year period.

The estimated average spend of €3m a year compares with the €2.3m which was spent on the broadcasting service last year. This €2.3m also included costs associated with the official launch of the dedicated Oireachtas TV channel.

While a spokeswoman for the Houses of the Oireachtas had not confirmed the cost of launching the Oireachtas TV channel at the time of publication, she added that a possible reason for the relatively high estimated cost compared with the 2014 spend was due to the fact that "costs are based on sitting days so we have to make estimates based on sitting days".

She also said that there was currently no way to measure viewership in place, although she added: "The Oireachtas TV channel broadcasts on a 24-7 basis on Sky Ireland, UPC and e-vision to approximately 85pc of the homes in Ireland."

When asked how many staff were employed to manage the service, the spokeswoman said: "It is reasonable to assume that on a sitting day when both chambers and all committee rooms are in use that there would be 20 contracted staff to support the broadcasting of Oireachtas proceedings.

"In addition there are full-time staff covering editing, technical support, administration and management which equates to 12 full-time posts."

Irish Independent