RTÉ boss admits broadcaster is "not now investing enough" in output

Dee Forbes has appeared before the Oireachtas Communications Committee

RTÉ boss admits broadcaster is "not now investing enough" in output

RTÉ Director-General Dee Forbes appears before the Oireachtas Committee on Communications | Image: Oireachtas screenshot

The director-general of RTÉ, Dee Forbes, has said the broadcaster is "not now investing enough" in TV drama, children's programming and other areas.

She has been speaking before the Oireachtas Committee on Communications.

While RTÉ routinely attends the committee, this is the first time it has been asked before it.

In her opening speech, Ms Forbes said: "What we can produce and commission - and the quality of all we do - is inextricably linked to the resources we have.

"It may appear to some that RTÉ has plenty of money. But given the scope and breadth of our statutory obligations, the range of services we must provide and the nature and scale of the competition we face, RTÉ now has inadequate resources," she claimed.

"The cost of RTÉ's public service activities is substantially in excess of the amount of public funding it receives in the form of licence fee revenue.

"The balance of course is made up of commercial revenue".

File photo

She added that this revenue has fallen by 36% in the last 10 years.

Going into more detail, she told the committee the broadcaster's overall annual funding has fallen by in excess of €100m since 2008.

She then said: "This is why we are not now investing enough in TV drama, children’s programming, arts and culture output, and Irish language TV programming.

"This is why RTÉ's investment into the independent production sector has halved from €79.5m in 2007 to €40m in 2016."

She also singled out competitors like Virgin Media, Sky and Netflix as reasons for "finding it harder and harder to sustain audience share".

Independent TD Catherine Connolly queried why Ms Forbes had not talked more about value for money.