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Minister Rabbitte announces Government approval of 2013 RTE Annual Report

Dublin, 1 July 2014

The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte T.D., today, laid the RTÉ Annual Report and Group Financial Statements for the Year Ended 31st December 2013 before the Houses of the Oireachtas. RTÉ is publishing the report this morning.

The Minister notes the financial results in 2013 and welcomes the considerable achievement of RTÉ in reporting a positive end year result in 2013 after some difficult years of restructuring. RTÉ has reported a net surplus before tax of €1.1 million compared with a net deficit of €65.2 million in 2012. The scale of this turnaround is largely due to a significant reduction in costs as well as the fact that the considerable once-off Restructuring Charge of €46.2 million was incurred in 2012.

The broadcasting sector in Ireland has changed dramatically in recent years with an increasingly fragmented market containing several broadcasters with a global reach. The challenge now for RTÉ is to maintain a financially stable position in a very competitive and dynamic market.

Government action later this year will focus on ensuring that the Public Service Broadcasters, RTÉ and TG4, continue to be well positioned to ensure the delivery of quality services to the Irish public. The Minister acknowledges the recommendations of the BAI arising from the Five Year Review of Public Funding of July 2013. Following on from the BAI process, the Department has now received the NewERA review which suggests that the scope for new efficiencies is limited. This will be central to the Minister’s consideration of the adequacy of the funding of RTÉ, the outcome of which will be submitted to Government in the Autumn.

Also arising from the Five Year Review of Public Service Broadcasters, Indecon (Ireland) was appointed to conduct a review of the advertising market in Ireland earlier this year, a review which will inform the development of a revised regulatory framework for both public service and commercial broadcasters. The report will provide for the introduction of a revised system for setting advertising minutage and is currently being considered by the Minister.

As part of broadcasting legislation to be introduced later this year to give effect to the BAI Five Year Review of Public Funding, the efficacy of the license fee collections system will be addressed.

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