Jack Quann
Jack Quann

17.57 27 Mar 2020


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Urgent funding of up to €2.5m is to be put in place for the commercial independent radio sector.

Communications Minister Richard Bruton made the announcement on Friday.

The re-purposed funds are to be used to support local and independent radio stations.

Minister Bruton says this is in recognition of "the significant and immediate financial impact" on the sector as a result of the fall-off in advertising revenue arising from the coronavirus.

Last week it was announced that the broadcasting levy payable by the radio sector would be waived for the first six months of the year.

This is expected to save local and independent stations around €1m.

Mr Bruton has now written to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), asking them to put in place the €2.5m through a re-purposing of existing Sound and Vision funding.

Minister Bruton says: "Our local and independent radio stations have a crucial role to play as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Communities everywhere rely on their local station as a trusted source of information and this is especially important now as we manage this pandemic."

"I have asked the BAI to report to me on the impact of these measures and the Government-wide actions, on independent radio and to keep me updated on the financial well-being of the sector in general in the current environment."

This funding will come from ring-fencing funds under the Sound and Vision 4 Scheme, recently approved by the minister.

The Sound & Vision Scheme is funded by the TV licence fee from the Broadcasting Fund, and is administered by the BAI.

The scheme supports the production of TV and radio programmes on Irish culture, heritage and experience.

It also provides for funding of the community radio sector in respect of their social benefit obligations.

The minister has asked that the authority considers this is a matter of urgency, and puts in place funding of €750,000 for community radio in 2020.


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Bai Broadcasting Authority Of Ireland Commercial Independent Radio Coronavirus Funding Independent Radio Sector Ireland Radio Sector Richard Bruton Sound And Vision

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