Willie O’Reilly calls for commercial realism from BAI board on 2010 industry levy
The Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) has welcomed the latest JNLR figures saying they confirmed the strong position independent radio holds with the consumer. 64.5% of the listening population (2.473 million people) continue to tune in to independent radio on a daily basis in the key 7am to 7pm slot.
However Willie O’Reilly, Chairman of the IBI cautioned that the sector was facing a very challenging time as broadcasters sought to maintain standards of service and business continuity in the face of falling revenues.
“All the indications are that the environment will remain tough through 2010 with the possibility of a further drop in revenue very likely. Given the pressures facing broadcasters, the timing of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s request for an increase in its budget could not be worse.
“The IBI recognises the need for a sufficiently funded regulator and we have no issue in principle with an industry level to fund this important Authority. However, some commercial realism needs to be injected at BAI board level to ensure that the levy does not threaten the very viability of some of our smaller independent radio stations who do not have the luxury of a license fee income”.
Mr. O’Reilly said “The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has sought approval for a funding budget in 2010 of €7.6 million, an increase of €1.6 million on the 2009 budget. At a time when costs are being reduced throughout the public sector, the increase sought by the BAI is unjustified”.
“We understand that the Minister for Communications has asked the BAI to review its funding requirements for 2010. One solution would be for the BAI to prioritise its work programme and activities in order to reduce the overall budget for 2010. Deferring non-essential activities into the 2011-2013 work plan would mitigate the cost of the levy on the industry”, he said.
About the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland
The Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) is the representative body for Ireland’s independent commercial radio broadcasters. The mission of the IBI is to champion the agenda of independent broadcasters in Ireland and to be a distinct and coherent national voice in the ongoing campaign for competitive equality across the sector.
The independent voice of Ireland, 64.5% of the population tune into independent radio on a daily basis. This translates into weekday figures of 2.473 million listeners. With more than 1500 people employed in the sector, independent broadcasters make a significant economic, social and cultural contribution to the Irish economy. The IBI represents 2 national radio stations, 1 multicity radio station, 4 regional radio stations and 27 local radio stations. For more information please visit: www.ibireland.ie.