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Independent radio has 2.449 million listeners each day which is 70% of the population or 7 out of every 10 people.

Commenting on the JNLR figures released today, Scott Williams, Chairman of the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) said that independent radio continues to attract increasing numbers of listeners because of its ability to give the listener what they want.

“A stunning 66% of all minutes listened to are to independent radio, proving that people are remaining loyal to their independent radio stations and are also listening for longer each day. Despite the difficult economic trading environment, Independent radio is giving listeners what they want without the licence fee cushion which the state broadcaster enjoys”, he said.

Mr. Williams also demanded action from the Minister for Communications in order to ensure fair competition for the radio sector, following the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s decision to allow independent TV broadcasters increase advertising from 10 to 12 minutes per hour.

“The licence fee gives RTE a competitive advantage and now independent television is being subsidised with the decision to allow additional advertising time. To level the competitive pitch what the independent radio sector needs is greater flexibility in the scheduling of advertising slots rather than increasing advertising minutes. This would have a more beneficial effect for broadcasters and listeners.

The BAI have clearly recognised the need to introduce this flexibility and have said they will address the issue with the Minister for Communications. The need for this change has been acutely felt by the sector for some time and it is now up to the Minister for Communications, Eamonn Ryan to take action and deliver on what is a critical issue for the future viability of many radio stations”, he said.

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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, 66.1% of the population tune into independent radio on a daily basis. This translates into weekday figures of 2.449 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.

For information:
Lisa Ni Choisdealbha, Independent Broadcasters of Ireland, 087 2038956;
Laurie Mannix / Julie Dilger, MKC Communications, 086 8143710