RTE TV licence fee price hike and revamp to ‘broadcasting charge’ on the cards due to advertising fall

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RTE is set to seek a TV licence price hike – just days after the British government froze the BBC TV licence fee for the next two years.

The Irish TV licence is currently €160 per year, and has been at that level since 2008.

RTE is seeking an extra €30 million in funding by revamping the traditional TV licence into a broadcasting charge.

According to the Sunday World, in a submission to the Public Accounts Committee tomorrow, RTE director-general Dee Forbes will say: “If there is no action, RTÉ will not be able to return to a stable financial position, will not be able to reinvent itself for future generations.”

The potential price hike is due to a fall in advertising revenue at the state broadcaster due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

RTE recorded a surplus of €7 million in 2020 – but that was well short of the stations expectations.

The Government also provided an additional €9 million to RTE in 2019, but that was entirely absorbed by a sharp decline in licence fee sales.

But what’s the difference between a broadcasting charge and a traditional TV Licence?

Here’s everything you need to know.

How will a broadcasting charge work, and what will it affect?

Any household that has a device that can access TV will be liable for the broadcasting charge.

Phones laptops and tablets would all be liable for a broadcasting charge.

Will you have to pay per device?

No. Like the licence fee, the broadcasting charge would be on a household basis, not on an individual device.

How much would a broadcasting charge cost?

There’s no word yet on what a broadcasting charge could cost.

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