The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten T.D., today laid the RTÉ Annual Report and Group Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December 2016 before the Houses of the Oireachtas.
RTÉ has reported a net deficit after tax of €19.7 million, following on from a loss of €2.8 million in 2015. The Minister noted that RTÉ's performance should be viewed in the context of ongoing reductions in public funding in recent years, the impact of Brexit on commercial revenues and the expenditure on a number of key events during the year, including the 1916 commemorations, the General Election and Euro 2016.
Minister Naughten acknowledged the sustained efforts that RTÉ have made to control costs over the last number of years, saying "Since 2008, RTÉ responded to the severe contraction in its revenue by cutting operational costs and implementing major organisational restructuring measures. Operational costs are now 27% lower than 2008 levels. The sale of land in Montrose will better equip RTÉ to tackle the challenges it faces in the immediate future."
Minister Naughten noted the longer term issues that RTÉ faces regarding funding and stated "While the sale of land in Montrose will assist RTÉ in the short term, longer term issues around securing sustainable revenue streams remain. While the current licence fee will not increase, we are continuing to examine ways in which revenue from the current structure can be maximized. In addition to this, I await the report from the recent forum on Future of Public Service Broadcasting which will examine ways in which public service broadcasting might be funded in the medium to long term."