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Ireland: In Search of Reform for Public Service Media Funding


This chapter discusses public service media (PSM) in Ireland in the context of the recent financial crisis and major demographic changes. It considers some of the factors impacting domestic PSM that are similar to those in other mature media systems in Europe, such as declining funding streams and debates over PSM-funding reform. After introducing the Irish social and political-economic context and providing for a brief historical review of PSM in Ireland, the roles of the domestic PSM organizations RTÉ and TG4 in the Irish media market are discussed. The chapter addresses initial government support for the introduction of a German-style household media fee, a Public Service Broadcasting Charge. While the charge was intended for introduction in 2015, it was later ruled out by the Irish Government in 2016.


  • Irish media market
  • Public service media
  • Media policy
  • Public service media funding
  • RTÉ
  • Licence fee
  • Household media fee

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  1. 1.

    My thanks go to Gareth Ivory, Head of Audience Research at RTÉ for his assistance in sourcing some of the institutional documentation that this chapter draws on.

  2. 2.

    Troica refers to the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund.

  3. 3.

    By contrast, homes in Northern Ireland had 67%, already above the UK average of 62% (Ofcom 2014, p. 1).

  4. 4.

    The Broadcasting Funding Scheme, administered by the BAI, involves the allocation of money to the Sound and Vision 3 fund, which was ‘established to provide funding to support high quality programmes on Irish culture, heritage and experience and programmes to improve adult literacy’ (DCCAE 2016).


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Correspondence to Phil Ramsey .

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© 2018 Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH

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Ramsey, P. (2018). Ireland: In Search of Reform for Public Service Media Funding. In: Herzog, C., Hilker, H., Novy, L., Torun, O. (eds) Transparency and Funding of Public Service Media – Die deutsche Debatte im internationalen Kontext. Springer VS, Wiesbaden.

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