Tuesday 16 July 2019

TDs fear backlash over new €100,000 'Dail TV' channel

Michael Brennan

A new 'Dail TV' channel will be up and running by the end of the year -- but TDs are fearful of a public backlash.

The channel will be broadcast to a limited number of cities -- with Cork, Dublin and Galway expected to be among the chosen few -- on a pilot basis.

The estimated cost of the pilot is around €20,000 for a month -- but this sum would reach €100,000 for a full year.

An Oireachtas Commission confirmed last night that it was exploring the possibility of a parliamentary channel at minimal cost.

"It's early days and no decision has been taken yet," a spokesman said.

All Dail and Seanad debates are filmed live and are available for viewing on the Oireachtas website -- as are committee meetings.

A political source confirmed that the current plan is to have the new channel transmitted on a pilot basis by the end of the year.

It would be possible to use the new RTE digital TV service Saorview to broadcast the channel.

But there are signs already that TDs are opposed to the plan because they know it will generate a public backlash.

The issue was discussed yesterday by the all-party Joint Administrative Committee and a source said there was "huge resistance" to the plan there.

The most common argument was that it was hard to justify spending any money on it due to two factors -- the economic recession and the limited public appetite for such a channel.

Irish Independent

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