The ‘Five Year Review’ process was established in the Broadcasting Act 2009 as a means of conducting a periodic fundamental review of the funding of public service broadcasters. These reviews are carried out in conjunction with annual or single year reviews under section 124(2) of the 2009 Act.
Based on the findings of the review, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) is required to make a recommendation as to the adequacy of public funding required to allow both public service broadcasters, RTÉ and TG4, to fulfil their public service objects as set out in the Act, and to submit both these recommendations and the report itself to the Minister. The Minister is required to bring a copy of both documents to government. following this, the Government is required to publish a response to the BAI recommendations, and to publish both documents submitted to it by the BAI.
The first Five-Year Review was conducted by the BAI in 2013. In the course of its response, Government accepted a number of recommendations for legislative change and, in addition, initiated two specific studies, an economic analysis of the Irish advertising market, and a review of possible further efficiencies within RTÉ. These reviews, undertaken by Indecon and New Era respectively, have since been completed.
Copies of both reviews, redacted to exclude commercially sensitive information, are available below along with the review document itself (as prepared by Crowe Horwath), the BAI recommendations and a copy of the Government response.
The second five year review was conducted in 2018. The Government, in recognising the rapidly changing technological environment under which Public Service Broadcasters operate and the impact that Brexit and competition from online sources is having on commercial revenues agreed to increased exchequer funding for both Public Service Broadcasters; Reform of TV Licence Collection; Review of the 2009 Broadcasting Act and the Publication of Broadcasting (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The BAI recommendations, a redacted copy of the Review and the Government Response is published below.