RTÉ In Real Bother But Government Will Intervene

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RTÉ is likely to lose €21m in licence fee revenues amid a drop in sales which was sparked by the recent revelations over underhand secret payments to ex-presenter Ryan Tubridy.

Minster for Media Catherine Martin brought RTÉ’s 2022 annual report to Cabinet where a deficit of €2.8m was revealed for last year.

It earned 195.6 million euro from TV licence fee revenue in 2022 – a drop of half a million on the previous year.

However, it increased it’s commercial revenue by 3.8 million euro to 152.1 million.

It’s expected licence fee revenue will fall significantly in 2023, off the back of the payments scandal which occurred after this report was finalised.

Chair of the RTE Board, Siun Ní Raghallaigh, says the financial statements do take into account two payments of €75,000 recorded in the Barter account in its operating costs.

She adds the report represents a particular moment in time when a different culture was prevalent, and that the broadcaster must now deal with the legacy of this ‘siloed and dysfunctional culture‘.

The figures from the Department of Arts and Media show in the last week of August, television licence income was down by 40% on last year.

A statement from RTÉ director-general, Kevin Bakhurst has confirmed that its submitted a request to Minister Martin in May for interim funding of €34.5m citing evidence of the need for funding by the Future of Media Commission

RTÉ said it wrote to the Minister again last week to request interim funding with the same figure, €34.5 million being sought.