“Today’s JNLR figures reflect the huge connection independent radio enjoys with its listeners. That connection is driven by the commitment of independent radio to programmes and content which provide an important public service to the communities in which we broadcast. Over 1,320 hours of public service content is broadcast by independent radio stations each week and it is no surprise that every day over 2.5 million people tune in to our member stations”, said Scott Williams, Chairman, Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI).
“Today’s JNLR shows we have once again increased our listenership and have crossed the 2.5 million listenership threshold for the first time which is a fantastic endorsement of the service we provide. Almost seven out of every ten minutes listened to radio in Ireland is to independent stations because IBI radio stations across the country are providing a service listeners want. It is time that Minister Rabbitte acknowledges the contribution that independent radio makes to Irish society and delivers fairness and equality of funding in the Irish broadcasting sector,” he said.
“RTE gets revenues from a licence fee on the basis that it is a public service broadcaster and also has the added fat of significant advertising revenues. The level of public service broadcasting on independent radio is not being recognized and our members deserve parity of esteem”.
Mr. Williams continued; “The Review of Funding promised by the Minister and which he has charged the BAI to conduct must be a transparent and open process to which all stakeholders, including the listening public can contribute.
“It is critically important to the future of the sector, and to protecting healthy competition and diversity for the radio listener, that equality is placed on the role both the state broadcaster and the independent sector play in delivering public service broadcasting.
“We are calling once again on Minister Pat Rabbitte to follow-through on his commitment in the Programme for Government to ensuring equality and fairness in the broadcasting landscape. The Minister has a unique opportunity to address the fundamental question of fairness and to rebalance and realign public resource with the choice of the listening public.”