• DCMNR announcement on TG4

    Following on from the Sunday Times article, which I blogged about here, the DCMNR has just released a statement on its plans to make TG4 independent by 2007, meaning the Irish TV market will be balanced with two independent stations and two state broadcasters; the deal that sees content provided by RTÉ will continue and the Department hopes to raise its funding to cut down on repeats and increase production.

    Click below to read the full press release.

    Dempsey – TG4 to become independent from 2007

    The Minister for Communications, Marine & Natural Resources Noel Dempsey T.D., today announced that the Irish language television station TG4, will become an independent station. The station, which currently operates under the umbrella of RTÉ, will be transformed into an independent statutory body from the beginning of April in 2007.

    “It was the Government’s intention, from its inauguration that Teilifís na Gaeilge, as it was then known, would be a separate station. The Broadcasting Act of 2001 provided the statutory basis for the separation. The commitment was re-iterated in the Programme for Government and establishing TG4 as an independent body is the vehicle most likely to result in the delivery of a channel that has the singular focus of providing a high quality Irish language television service,” said Minister Dempsey.

    “I will be establishing a Project Management Group (PMG) as soon as possible to oversee the establishment of TG4 as an independent body. The PMG will be chaired by officials from my Department and will also comprise of representatives from the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, RTÉ and TG4. This group will to ensure that the station is ready to operate independently by April 2007,” he continued.

    Commenting on funding arrangements for TG4 Minister said: “TG4 will continue to receive grant aid from the exchequer to fund their operations in 2007, along with income they receive from advertising. The programme support from RTÉ in the form of an hour a day of programming is statutorily based and will continue. TG4 has made the case to me for a substantial increase in its level of funding to improve its Irish language schedule and to reduce its repeat ratio. In recognition of the importance of these objectives and the positive progress made by TG4 I will be seeking extra funding for the station through the estimates process for 2007.

    “TG4 is considered one of the great success stories of Irish broadcasting and has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 1996, and the station continues to win major national and international awards for its programming. I am delighted to be able to announce their impending independence as they celebrate the 10th anniversary of the birth of the station,” concluded the Minister.