Independent broadcasters warn they are at tipping point and need access to new funds

IBI Chairman John Purcell has said that local programming on the country's radio stations could disappear

Independent broadcasters warn they are at tipping point and need access to new funds

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Independent broadcasters say they are nearing a time where they can no longer afford news, sports and current affairs programming.

The Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) group has told an Oireachtas Committee they are at a tipping point and need access to a new fund.

They believe if the cost of collecting the licence fee was addressed - as well as tackling evasion - as much as €50 million extra could be available for all broadcasters including RTÉ.

IBI Chairman John Purcell says otherwise local programming on the country's radio stations could disappear.

He explained: "Failure of action provides an appalling vista where there will be an erosion of use and influence and depth and quality of locally based media - across radio and television.

"That will lead to the lowest common denominator and the constant search for clicks and quick revenue," he argued.

He also observed that broadcasters could be forced to look towards syndicated programming models.

He added that the "unique local flavour" and "fully developed and fully staffed broadcasting outlets in their local area, which reflect their area" are at risk.