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    TV service to Britain to cost €3 million a year

    By Noreen Bowden | August 6, 2008

    RTE’s new television service for the Irish community in Britain, RTE International, will cost €3 million a year, according to an article in the Sunday Business Post. The money will come out of existing TV resources.

    The newspaper reports that the national broadcaster fears that it will only break even this year, after a surplus of €26.4 million for 2007, mostly due to slowing growth in commercial revenue. RTE took in €195.7 million in television licence fees, and €245.5 million in commercial income.

    The channel, which was originally due to launch on St Patrick’s Day 2009, is now expected to launch as early as the end of this year. Its content will include current affairs, news, lifestyle and Irish-made drama. It will be aimed at older Irish emigrants and will be operated as a public service; reportedly, there will be no advertising. It will be available on Freesat, a free-to-air satellite service; viewers will need to purchase a receiver for their television sets, but will not need to pay a subscription.

    Legislation was passed in 2007 to require RTE to broadcast both sound and television to Irish communities abroad.

    See recent articles in the Sunday Business Post:
    RTE feels the squeeze (3 Aug 08)

    RTE to launch British channel by year-end (20 Jul 08)

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