Irish content will disappear from television if people refuse to pay the TV licence fee.
That's the warning from ShinAwil CEO Larry Bass, who was speaking amid a big decline in payments.
TV licence fee renewals dropped 25% in the first week of July according to figures seen by Newstalk.
There was also a significant fall off in new licence fee sales, which were down almost 40% on the previous year.
These reduced figures mean a total combined fall of almost €934,000 in licence fee revenue in June and the first week of July.
Mr Bass told The Hard Shoulder the public should know the consequences of failing to pay.
"For me it's very simple: if we don't pay for Irish content, there won't be any," he said.
"I know RTÉ are having their troubles right now and we have to go through the process of finding out what happened there and get things fixed, and move on to the next iteration of what RTÉ will be.
"Meanwhile paying for the running of RTÉ, and/or anything that replaces RTÉ, will still require a way of paying for the programming - whether it's on radio, television online or whatever.
"If we don't pay it, we simply won't have it."
Mr Bass said a referendum in Switzerland to remove the TV licence fee in 2018 was defeated.
"The people in Switzerland voted in big numbers to retain Swiss content on Swiss television," he said.
"People may be very happy to say, 'We'll watch BBC, we'll watch Netflix, Amazon and YouTube'.
"That's all fine and well, if we don't want to hear or see Irish stories, hear Irish voices and have our children speaking with Irish accents."
'It has to be reformed'
Mr Bass has said the licence fee itself, and how it is collected, needs to change.
"It's contributing to content across the board; it's not just into RTÉ, it's synonymous with RTÉ," he said.
"I think it has to be reformed, the way we collect it needs to be changed and it needs to be increased.
"There are families in homes in Ireland paying more than €1,500 a year to subscribe to Sky and all its channels.
"So people will pay for content, people don't properly realise the value you're getting with your TV licence fee."
'Not all paid by the public'
Mr Bass said the licence fee should increase to the European average.
"I think it should be around the European average which would be higher than €160 - I think it's around €180/€190," he said.
"If you look at a country like Finland, where over €500,000 is collected through licence fee, it's not all paid by the citizens.
"Corporations pay in, if you've got a hotel chain and have numerous outlets, instead of having one licence for each hotel, where you could have hundreds of rooms - why should they pay the same as the house around the corner?
"Why should pubs - where they have The Sunday Game on, filling their pubs every Sunday - pay the same as you or I pay?"
Mr Bass said he believes people will miss it when it's gone.
"People need to stand back and go, 'What do we want as a nation? What do we want the future of Irish content... to look like?'" he said.
"But if we keep on fiddling away while Rome burns, we will see it withering and it'll be too late when it's all gone," he added.
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