NNI continues to call for restrictions on RTE’s commercial activity and a clearer definition of its public service remit.
The scope of RTE’s public service remit has been unclear for many years. Its public service activities have been mixed up with commercial activities, in particular on the RTE website, to the extent that the State broadcaster is now effectively using the proceeds of the licence fee to become a news publisher and win further advertising revenue.
Newspaper publishers invest millions in generating content and are currently exploring every avenue to create viable digital business models. RTE uses public funding to generate content and can therefore offer it for free on its website whilst using it to generate commercial revenues.
NNI believes that RTE should be confined to its public service remit and that this should be clearly defined. Given the level of license fee funding RTE receives, there should be clear limits on its commercial activity, which must be transparent and at arms length.
RTE’s website should be restricted to its broadcast activity with no advertising allowed and no links to other commercial websites such as dating, cars etc.