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The Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) today welcomed the decision of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) to significantly reduce the levy which will be charged to broadcasters. The new levy which Independent radio stations and RTE will have to pay to fund the BAI is €5.7 million.

The BAI had announced a budget of €7.6million for 2010 and the independent broadcasters had been vociferous in their opposition to this large increase on previous budgets.

Commenting, Willie O’Reilly, Chairman of the Independent Broadcasters said:

“I am pleased that reason has prevailed. I would like to thank the CEO and Board of the Broadcasting Authority for listening to the concerns of the IBI and examining where cost savings could be made. At the end of the day, we are all working to a common aim, which is a vibrant and sustainable broadcasting sector.

“This decision recognises the significant impact the proposed levy would have had on our sector, which employs 1,500 people and which is at the heart of all our communities. The support of local politicians was particularly helpful and played a huge part in achieving this result.

The IBI also welcomed today’s announcement that the BAI budget will not increase between now and 2013 and that the Authority is seeking further cost savings.

Mr O Reilly added, “The IBI recognises the need for a sufficiently funded regulator and we have no issue in principle with an industry levy to fund this important Authority. But it is important that the budget is realistic and can be sustained by industry”.

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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.

Further information: Lisa Ní Choisdealbha, IBI, (087) 2038956