Sean Fleming TD and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee in the Dáil.
The Minister for Communications Denis Naughten needs to abolish 'archaic rules' which are preventing RTÉ from providing key services to customers on platforms such as Sky and Virgin Media according to a Laois TD.
Fianna Fáil TD for Laois and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Sean Fleming, says that these rules are damaging to RTÉ’s commercial viability.
Deputy Fleming made the comments after RTÉ confirmed that they have been unable to provide channels such as RTÉ 2 + 1 (RTÉ 2 plus one) to people who get their TV service through Sky or Virgin Media. This is due to the requirement for the Department of Communications and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) to sign off on the expansion of services.
“At a recent meeting of the Public Accounts Committee the Director General of RTÉ Dee Forbes confirmed that some of its services are not available to Sky and Virgin Media customers, including the RTÉ 2 +1 channel.
“RTÉ have confirmed that they would like to make all of its channels available to Sky and Virgin Media customers. However they are unable to do so currently due to red tape and bureaucracy. For changes or additions that RTÉ make to their service, they first have to get permission from the Minister for Communications. This involves the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland carrying out a review of the proposal.
“This is a senseless process and is leaving RTÉ at a competitive disadvantaged. The Government should do away with this requirement. In the meantime, Minister Naughton should give permission to RTÉ to expand its full range of services to Sky and Virgin Media customers. The delay in doing so is damaging to RTÉ,” Deputy Fleming said.