Raidió Teilifís Éireann

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Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ)
TypeStatutory Corporation
IndustryBroadcasting
Founded1 June 1960
HeadquartersDonnybrook, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Area servedRepublic of Ireland,
Northern Ireland (via analogue overspill from RoI, satellite and cable services),
Rest of the world (via internet, satellite, digital and analogue services)
Key peopleTom Savage, Chairman
Noel Curran, Director-General[1]
ServicesTelevision and radio services
transmission publishing and e-publishing (teletext & web)
commercial telecoms services, orchestras and performing arts, and related
RevenueRed Arrow Down.svg €371.7 million (2010)[2]
Owner(s)Publicly Owned
Employees2,214 (as of 31 December 2009[3])
DivisionsRTÉ Television, RTÉ Radio, RTÉ Performing Groups, RTÉ News and Current Affairs, RTÉ Publishing
SubsidiariesRTÉ NL
Websitewww.rte.ie
 
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Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ)
TypeStatutory Corporation
IndustryBroadcasting
Founded1 June 1960
HeadquartersDonnybrook, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Area servedRepublic of Ireland,
Northern Ireland (via analogue overspill from RoI, satellite and cable services),
Rest of the world (via internet, satellite, digital and analogue services)
Key peopleTom Savage, Chairman
Noel Curran, Director-General[1]
ServicesTelevision and radio services
transmission publishing and e-publishing (teletext & web)
commercial telecoms services, orchestras and performing arts, and related
RevenueRed Arrow Down.svg €371.7 million (2010)[2]
Owner(s)Publicly Owned
Employees2,214 (as of 31 December 2009[3])
DivisionsRTÉ Television, RTÉ Radio, RTÉ Performing Groups, RTÉ News and Current Affairs, RTÉ Publishing
SubsidiariesRTÉ NL
Websitewww.rte.ie

Raidió Teilifís Éireann[4] (Irish pronunciation: [ˈradʲo ˈtʲɛlʲəfʲiːʃ ˈeːrʲən] ( listen); Radio [and] Television of Ireland; abbreviated as RTÉ) is a semi-state company and the public service broadcaster of Republic of Ireland. It both produces programmes and broadcasts them on television, radio and the Internet. The radio service began on 1 January 1926,[5] while regular television broadcasts began on 31 December 1961,[6] making it one of the oldest continuously operating public service broadcasters in the world.

RTÉ is financed by a television licence fee and through advertising. Some RTÉ services are only funded by advertising, while other RTÉ services are only funded by the licence fee. RTÉ is a statutory body, run by a board appointed by the Government of Ireland. General management of the organisation is in the hands of the Executive Board headed by the Director-General. RTÉ is regulated by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. Radio Éireann, RTÉ's predecessor and at the time a section of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs, was one of 23 founding organisations of the European Broadcasting Union in 1950.

Contents

History

This section deals with the history of RTÉ as an organisation. For details on this history of the various services see the separate articles on those services. For history of the broadcasting service prior to 1960, see Minister for Posts and Telegraphs and RTÉ Radio 1.

Establishment and name

Broadcasting in Ireland began in 1926 with 2RN in Dublin. From that date until June 1960 the broadcasting service (2RN, later Radio Éireann) operated as a section of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs, and those working for the service were directly employed by the Irish Government and regarded as civil servants.

In 1960, RTÉ was established (as Radio Éireann) under the Broadcasting Authority Act 1960, the principal legislation under which it operates. The name was adopted at the suggestion of Áine Ní Cheanainn. The existing Radio Éireann service was transferred to the new authority, which was also made provision for the new television service (Telefís Éireann). The television service started broadcasting on 31 December 1961, from the Kippure transmitter site near Dublin. Eamonn Andrews was the first Chairman of Radio Éireann, the first director general was Edward Roth. The name of the authority was changed to Radio Telefís Éireann[7] under the Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act 1966, and both the radio and television services became known as RTÉ in that year.

The Broadcasting Act 2009 (Section 113) changed the name of the organisation from "Radio Telefís Éireann" to "Raidió Teilifís Éireann", in order to reflect the 'proper' spelling of the name in Irish. However, the station retains "Radio Telefís Éireann" carved in stone at the entrance to its Donnybrook headquarters in Dublin.

Broadcasting ban

Under Section 31 of the Broadcasting Authority Act, 1960 the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs of the day could direct RTÉ "not to broadcast any matter, or any matter of any particular class". In 1971, the first such directive was issued by Gerry Collins, directing RTÉ not to broadcast "any matter that could be calculated to promote the aims or activities of any organisation which engages in, promotes, encourages or advocates the attaining of any particular objectives by violent means". Following this, Collins dismissed the entire RTÉ Authority over an interview with an (unidentified on-air) source who was the chief of staff of the Provisional IRA. Some RTÉ staff members strongly supported the operation of Section 31, particularly those involved in programme making, including Eoghan Harris (known for his involvement with the Official IRA, then on ceasefire) and Gerry Gregg.

In 1977, Minister Conor Cruise O'Brien, issued a new directive in the form of the Broadcasting Authority Act, 1960 (Section 31) Order, 1977.[8] RTÉ was now explicitly banned from broadcasting statements by spokespersons of Sinn Féin, the Provisional IRA, or any other terrorist organisation banned in Northern Ireland by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. These directives were generally reissued on an annual basis until the final one of 1993.[9]

The effect of this ban was greater than the one introduced over 10 years later in the United Kingdom. In the UK case, the ban could be easily circumvented using actors' voices; this was not permissible on RTÉ. The ban did not, however, affect UK stations broadcasting in the Republic as, until 1988 at least, viewers in the Republic were still able to hear the voices of democratically elected Sinn Féin representatives.

Income and expenditure

Attribution of licence fee by RTÉ Ireland 2008.png
Divisional Results by IBD for RTÉ 2008 Ireland Profit Loss.png

RTÉ receives income from two main sources:

Even though the commercial quotas have been removed these two sources are still approximately split in a 50:50 ratio. The licence fee does not fund RTÉ 2fm, RTÉ Aertel, RTÉ Guide or the website RTÉ.ie,[10] however each of these brands are indirectly funded by the licence fee through the use of content that is funded by the licence fee, such as News and Current Affairs.

Breakdown of the Licence Fee

Breakdown of the TV Licence[10][11]
Use201020092008
RTÉ One61.0362.0059.35
RTÉ Two36.2031.5734.09
RTÉ Television Total97.2393.5693.44
RTÉ Radio 113.0816.7014.24
RTÉ 2fm0.000.000.00
RTÉ RnaG8.509.0610.73
RTÉ Lyric FM5.055.245.78
RTÉ Radio Total26.6331.0030.75
RTÉ Performing Groups9.079.4811.02
RTÉ Total132.93134.05135.21
RTÉ Support to TG46.367.507.89
BAI Levy1.040.630.00
BAI Sound and Vision Fund10.578.457.53
An Post Collection Costs9.109.379.37
Total Non-RTÉ Costs27.0725.9524.79
Total Cost160.00160.00160.00

RTÉ Personality Salaries

RTÉ's Director General in October 2009 said there was “no question that by today’s standards” the salaries paid to its top presenters in 2008 “were excessive. I have to repeat that they were set at a different time in a different competitive reality where some of this talent might be up for poaching by other organisations and in RTÉ’s view at the time, they delivered value for money ”.[12] Fine Gael said the high salaries were "rubbing salt in the wounds" for people who had lost their jobs or taken significant pay cuts. Labour criticised RTÉ for not releasing the data sooner and said "This information should be easily available and there should be no question of concealing it or making it in any way inaccessible ".[13] Many of the highest-paid stars, are not technically members of staff but are paid through separate companies, enabling them and the station to avoid paying tax on their salaries.[14]

Organisation

RTÉ Board and Executive Board

RTÉ is a statutory corporation. Under its original governance arrangements (under the Broadcasting Authority Act 1960) its board was known as the RTÉ Authority. The members of the RTÉ Authority were appointed by the Cabinet upon the recommendation of the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources. The RTÉ Authority was both the legal owner of RTÉ (under the 1960 Act, it was RTÉ) and was also its regulator.

Under the Broadcasting Act 2009, RTÉ's governance arrangements have changed. The statutory corporation form has been retained, however the new Act no longer refers to the board of RTÉ as an "Authority" and it is now simply known as the Board. Of the new 12 member Board replacing the RTÉ Authority: the Minister will appoint 6 members, the Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources will decide on 4 names to present to the Minister for appointment, 1 member will be elected by the staff of RTÉ and the Director-General will sit on the Board in an ex-officio capacity. The current RTÉ Authority members have been reappointed to the new Board in the interim.[15] The provisions of the Act relating to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland were commenced on 1 October 2009(underStatutory Instrument389 of 2009 of the Broadcasting Act 2009), RTÉ will be externally regulated by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

The RTÉ organisation is divided into six integrated business divisions (termed "IBDs" within RTÉ): RTÉ Television, RTÉ Radio, RTÉ News and Current Affairs, RTÉ Network Limited, RTÉ Publishing and RTÉ Performing Groups) together with Central Shared Services (People Payments, Procurement, Treasury, IT Infrastructure, Audience Research, Freedom of Information, and Property and Site Facilities) and a Group Headquarters. The RTÉ Irish-language channel, TG4, was operated as a subsidiary of RTÉ (Serbhisí Telefís na Gaeilge Teoranta) prior to its separation from RTÉ on 1 April 2007.

The RTÉ Board appoints the Director-General of RTÉ who in effect fulfils the dual role of Chief Executive and of Editor in Chief. The Director-General heads the Executive Board of RTÉ, which comprises the company's top management and includes the Chief Financial Officer, the Director of Communications and the Managing Directors of the Television, Radio, and News divisions.[16]

Broadcasting

Radio

The first voice broadcast of 2RN, the original radio callsign for Radio 1, took place on 14 November 1925 when Seamus Clandillon, the 2RN station director said, 'Seo Raidió 2RN, Baile Átha Cliath ag tástáil', Irish for 'This is Radio 2RN, Dublin calling'. Regular Irish radio-broadcasting began on 1 January 1926. Unfortunately, most Irish people could not receive 2RN's (1.5 kilowatt) signal. When faced with numerous complaints from Cork regarding the writers' inability to tune to the signal, Clandillon remarked in The Irish Radio Review, a magazine dedicated to the service, that they did not know how to operate their sets. 6CK was established in Cork in 1927; much of 6CK's output was simply a relay of the national service but it also had a significant input into the programmes of 2RN until it was closed down in the 1950s.

RTÉ links mast in Donnybrook, Dublin.

A high power (initially 60 kW) station was established in Athlone, in 1932, to coincide with the staging of the Eucharistic Congress. 2RN, 6CK and Athlone became known as "Radio Athlone" or, in Irish, "Raidio Áth Luain" and were receivable across virtually the entire country. Radio Athlone became known as "Radio Éireann" in 1938.

Radio Éireann tried to satisfy all tastes on a single channel (with very limited programming hours). However, this resulted in a rather conservative programming policy. It was barely tolerated by most Irish listeners, and usually trounced (particularly on the east coast and along the Northern Ireland border) by the BBC and later Radio Luxembourg. This did not really change until Radio Éireann became free of direct government control in the 1960s.

Now, RTÉ has a nation-wide communications network with an increasing emphasis on regional news-gathering and input. Broadcasting on Radio 1 provides comprehensive coverage of news, current affairs, music, drama and variety features, agriculture, education, religion and sport, mostly in English but also some Irish. RTÉ 2fm is a popular music and chat channel which commenced broadcasting as RTÉ Radio 2 on 31 May 1979, Brendan Balfe being the first voice to be heard on the station at midday, when he introduced the first presenter, Larry Gogan. RTÉ lyric fm serves the interests of classical music and the arts, coming on air in May 1999, and replacing FM3 Classical Music, which had catered for the same target audience and time-shared with RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, an exclusively Irish-language service, which first began broadcasting on Easter Sunday, 2 April 1972. Formerly RTÉ operated RTÉ Radio Cork (previously 'Cork 89FM' and 'RTÉ Cork Local Radio'), a local radio service in Cork, but this closed down in the early 2000s.

A slightly adapted version of Radio 1 is broadcast as RTÉ Europe on Sky and Hotbird; the main difference between this and the main FM feed is the inclusion of several programmes taken from RTÉ Radio na Gaeltachta.

DAB test broadcasts of RTÉ's four stations began on 1 January 2006, along the east coast of Ireland, also carrying the private Today FM and World Radio Network, to which RTÉ is a contributing broadcaster. DAB was launched to the public in late 2006, and now contains eight RTÉ digital-only stations – RTÉ 2XM, RTÉ Chill, RTÉ Choice, RTÉ Digital Radio News, RTÉ Gold, RTÉ Junior, RTÉ Pulse and RTÉ Radio 1 Extra – as well as the four terrestrial services. RTÉ's radio stations are also carried on digital cable and satellite platforms in Ireland, as well as on digital terrestrial television, and RTÉ Radio 1 has been carried on shortwave in DRM during specific events, including the All Ireland finals.

A survey carried out by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs showed that demand for an Irish-language radio station aimed at a younger audience than RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta was high. This means that RTÉ might have plans to launch such a radio station.[17]

In August 2009, faced with falling audience listening figures, a media analyst advised that RTÉ has "alienated some of the audience it ought to be going after" and should "try to be more even-handed in its treatment of the issues of the day instead of pushing every PC cause going."[18]

Television

In the Republic of Ireland, RTÉ One and RTÉ Two are RTÉ's flagship channels. As digital television expands and as analogue television is being phased out by December 2012, RTÉ broadcasts several digital only television channels. These include RTÉ Two HD, RTÉ News Now, RTÉjr and RTÉ Aertel Digital. RTÉ Television also offers two further services: RTÉ Live, where viewers can watch RTÉ as it broadcasts live on the internet, using programming from both RTÉ One and RTÉ Two and RTÉ Player an on-demand video service. Both of these services are available on a national and international basis.

1920s: Ireland was one of the first countries in Europe to embrace the medium of radio, but was a relative latecomer to television. Unlike its European counterparts, the Government of Ireland did not use the medium of television until 31 December 1961. Countries such as the United Kingdom (1929), France (1935) and Italy (1954) embraced television long before Ireland. Prior to the launch of the Republic of Ireland's national broadcaster RTÉ, television services were available though limited from Northern Ireland through BBC Northern Ireland (1955) and UTV (1959) . The development of the Divis transmitter in Northern Ireland in July 1955 allowed overspill of these services into the Republic.

1950s: In the late 1950s, a Television Committee was formed; their goal was to set up an Irish television service with as little financial support from the government. It initially recommended setting up a service along the lines of ITV, plus five mountain tops as transmission sites, which were also equipped for FM radio transmission. However, since Éamon de Valera was somewhat wary of television, nothing more of consequence was done until Seán Lemass succeeded him as Taoiseach in 1959. A year later, Radio Éireann was converted from an arm of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs into a semi-state body and given responsibility for television. Eamonn Andrews was appointed as the new chairman.

1960s: Telefís Éireann began broadcasting at 19:00 on New Year's Eve, 1961. The channel was launched with opening address by the then President de Valera. There were other messages from Cardinal d'Alton and Lemass; following this, a live concert was broadcast from the Gresham Hotel in Dublin. The show, which was a countdown to the New Year, was hosted by Andrews, with appearances by Patrick O'Hagan, the Artane Boys' Band and Michael O'Hehir. Television became an important force within Irish culture as it helped to explore topics often deemed controversial such as abortion, contraception and various other topics, were now being discussed in television studios. The development of entertainment show The Late Late Show, which began in July 1962 and is still broadcasting today. Such programming helped to influence in the changing social structure of Ireland. Telefís Éireann began to explore children's television at this point producing the ground breaking show Wanderly Wagon inspired a generation with characters like Judge and Mr Crow.

1970s: In 1978, the Government of Ireland approved the launch of a second public service channel to be operated by RTÉ. RTÉ2 (later rebranded as Network 2 in 1988 and renamed RTÉ Two in 2004) had a public service remit providing Irish-language services, while also offering alternative services mainly programming from the US and UK.

1990s: During the 1990s similar to other European broadcasters RTÉ began to expand its services to provide regional variations. RTÉ developed its only major studio complex outside Dublin in Cork. RTÉ Cork, opened in 1995 and became a huge success. It also became a large contributor to network output on both Radio One and RTÉ One. In 1996, an Irish-language television service was launched TG4 (previously Teilifís na Gaeilge) was launched from Galway. While RTÉ provided Irish-language services such as news bulletins (Nuacht) and the long-running documentary series Léargas.

2000s: RTÉ Television began to expand is output through the development of digital television. RTÉ Television services became widely available in Northern Ireland via terrestrial overspill or on cable (coverage and inclusion on cable systems varies). Since 23 April 2002, (18 April 2005 in Northern Ireland) the channels have also been available via satellite on Sky Ireland In addition, some sports programmes are blocked to Northern Ireland viewers due to rights issues which conflict with the UK.

In January 2007, RTÉ announced plans to launch a channel, with the working title of RTÉ International, which would offer programmes from RTÉ One and Two as well as TG4.[19]

2010s: On 26 May 2011, RTÉ television launched the public service Mux for digital terrestrial television known as Saorview and Saorsat. RTÉ also launched RTÉ Two HD, RTÉjr, RTÉ One+1 and RTÉ News Now on Saorview on the same day. John Bowman wrote a history of RTÉ Television called Window and Mirror. RTÉ Television: 1961–2011, which was launched by launched by Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the National Museum in Dublin on 23 November 2011.[20]

News

An RTÉ satellite van

RTÉ News and Current Affairs, or Nuacht agus Cúrsaí Reatha RTÉ in Irish, is a major division of Raidió Teilifís Éireann responsible for news programming on television, radio and online within Ireland. It is, by far, the largest and most popular news source in Ireland — with 77% of the Irish public regarding it as their main source of both Irish and international news.[citation needed][21] It broadcasts in both the Irish and English languages, as well as Irish Sign Language.

RTÉ News and Current Affairs provides a range of national and international news and current affairs programming in Ireland. The organisation is also a source of commentary on current affairs. RTÉ News is based at the RTÉ Television Complex at Montrose in Donnybrook, Dublin, Ireland. However, the station also operates regional bureaux across Ireland and the world.

RTÉ News faces stiff competition from within Ireland and abroad. Within Ireland, competition is provided by TV3 News in the television sector and Communicorp in the radio sector. BBC Newsline, UTV Live and UTV Radio provide alternative news services from Northern Ireland, whilst widespread cable and satellite television penetration also allows international news channels, such as CNBC Europe, CNN International, EuroNews, France 24 and Sky News, together with the United Kingdom's BBC News, ITN (ITV News) and Channel 4 News to compete for viewership.

RTÉ News and Current Affairs produces over 1,000 hours of television programming and 2,000 hours of radio programming a year.[22]

In the 1970s, Sinn Féin the Workers Party, (the political wing of the Official IRA), were said to have progressively infiltrated RTÉ's Current Affairs Department, through the Ned Stapleton Cumman, which was organised by Eoghan Harris.[22]

RTÉ’s gaffe in January 2009 over the need for IMF intervention in the Republic was picked up by news wires. Bloomberg noted how German stocks fell sharply, while Reuters reported that the euro dipped by a cent against the dollar before it stabilised following a strong denial.[23]

RTÉ’s producers and researchers were accused by journalist Kevin Myers of imposing a liberal agenda, firstly on one another, and later on the airwaves, but without consciously intending to do so.[24] RTÉ News has also been described by him as behaving like a press officer for public sector unions.[25]

Sport

RTÉ is a major broadcaster of sports programming in Ireland. Gaelic football, hurling, soccer and rugby are all broadcast live on radio and television and increasingly online. The broadcaster also transmits live golf, boxing, athletics, horse-racing and show-jumping and other minority sports, usually when there is a significant Irish participant(s), or the event is in Ireland. The broadcaster has secured many events, free-to-air which might otherwise become pay-per-view.

Internet

The URL 'RTE.ie' is the brand name and home of RTÉ's online activities. The site began publishing on 26 May 1996. It operates on an entirely commercial basis, receiving none of the licence fee which funds much of RTÉ's activity.[26] The site is funded by advertising and section sponsorship. As of 2007, it is among the top 5000 most visited websites globally, by Alexa rankings[27] and among the top 20 sites in Ireland,[28] with certified impressions of almost 40 million per month and more than 1.5 million unique users.[29] The most recent revamp of the website took place on 30 January 2007.[30]

In recent years RTÉ has been expanding its web broadcasting capabilities. With improved access to online material and better methods of delivery there is now a comprehensive range of services online. RTÉ streams all of its radio stations online, including digital, and there is a web only TV channel, RTÉ News Now[31] as well as the availability to watch live programmes, subject to copyright.

RTÉ player

On Tuesday 21 April 2009, RTÉ launched its on-demand service the RTÉ player. The service allows broadband users in the Republic of Ireland to view some of RTÉ's top rated homegrown (i.e. RTE News, The Late Late Show) and international (i.e. Home and Away, Grey's Anatomy) TV series for free up to 21 days after its initial broadcast. A cut-down version is available outside Ireland.[32][33]

RTÉ and Netflix

On Thursday, 13 September 2012: RTÉ Digital confirmed[34] that it has signed a deal with Netflix to host its programming. Episodes of RTÉ television dramas and comedies including The Clinic, Trivia, Killnaskully and Mattie will be added to Netflix in Ireland and Britain under a new deal between the broadcaster and the online subscription service[35].

Other activities

Publishing

RTÉ Publishing has four main constituent parts: Print Publishing, E-Publishing (both internet & teletext), Commercial Telecoms & Digital Consumer Technology Incubation. The division publishes the RTÉ Guide and sells DVDs and VHS videos of RTÉ Television programmes, and audio tapes and compact discs of RTÉ radio programmes. It operates all of RTÉ's many websites—branded as RTE.ie, and providing online news, sport, and entertainment services. Live streams of all of RTÉ's national radio networks are available online. In addition RTÉ Publishing operates a teletext service on both RTÉ One and RTÉ Two, called RTÉ Aertel, which has news, sport, and programme support information. Its commercial telecoms business provides both SMS and IVR telecoms services to all of RTÉ's broadcast services and channels.

Performing Groups

The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

RTÉ Performing Groups supports two full-time orchestras—the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra—as well as the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet, RTÉ Philharmonic Choir, and RTÉ Cór na nÓg. These groups perform regularly in the National Concert Hall and The Helix in Dublin. The five groups present over 250 events annually, including live performances and work in education. The RTÉ NSO and the RTÉ CO employ a total of 134 professional musicians. The RTÉ Philharmonic Choir and the children's choir RTÉ Cór na nÓg are for singers at an amateur level. Currently, approximately 200 adults and children are involved in the choirs.

Infrastructure

RTÉ Network Limited (branded as RTÉNL) is operated through a wholly owned subsidiary company, RTÉ Network Transmission Limited, and provides transmission services for all of RTÉ's own channels and also for competing stations such as TV3 Ireland and Today FM.

Saorview

Saorview, founded by RTÉ NL, is the name for the Irish FTA DTT.[36] The service was launced as a trial service on 31 October 2010 to 90% of the population and it was officially launched on 26 May 2011.[37] Set-top boxes for the service are available[38] By legislation it must be available nationwide by December 2011. The service is free although a MPEG-4 DVB-T box and a UHF aerial will be needed although some newer TV sets have MPEG-4 DVB-T decoders built into the TV set which do not need a separate box. RTÉ NL can provide for commercial DTT capacity on its network for any pay TV service that can agree terms with it and the BAI. However that is likely until 2013 according to the BAI following on from a de-briefing exercise the BAI held with the 3 consortia involved in the 2008 failed license process. The BAI said the Authority now considers that it will not be feasible to introduce commercial DTT as originally intended until after Analogue Switch Off (ASO) at the earliest. The position will be reviewed towards the end of 2011 and the Authority may seek expressions of interest in the provision of commercial DTT at that point. A competition could potentially be held during 2012 with a view to commercial DTT being operational in 2013. It continued it is the considered view of the Authority that as part of the preparation for the successful launch of commercial DTT in the future, legislative change will be necessary to enable the Authority to have formal relationships with the applicants, as obtains at present, and with RTÉNL.[39]

The analogue switch-off in Ireland (North and South) is scheduled for the 24 October 2012 which means that the Saorview service must be operational to an equivalent coverage area as analogue terrestrial television as required by the Broadcasting Act 2009.[40]

Saorsat

Saorsat[41][42] is the proposed name for the free-to-air digital satellite television service in the Republic of Ireland is expected that RTÉ will use a new satellite service to broadcast to homes in more remote areas of the Republic of Ireland with the possibility of broadband provision by June 2011. On 14 July 2010 RTÉ NL outlined detailed plans for the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) infrastructure project and Digital Satellite Television (DST) using Ka narrowband which will see the shut- down of the existing analogue system and launch of a domestic only satellite service for the first time since establishment of RTÉ covering the area not possible due to terrain issues by DTT.[43]

Library

Logos


The use of the St. Brigid's Cross was chosen by Edith Cusack the Head of Women's Programming at the newly founded channel in early 1960s. St. Brigid is the female patron saint of Ireland. The first logo lasted until the formation of Ireland's national radio and television services Raidió Teilifís Éireann in 1966. Part of the redesign was to prevent strobing on screen. The 1966 to 1969 logo was a much simpler form of the cross and was designed by Jim Jones. The letters R, T and E were added to the logo after the formation of RTÉ as a statutory body. Before this the logo was simply the cross in black on a white background or white on a black background. Don Farrell and Jon Cogan designed the 3rd incarnation of the Brigid's Cross. This logo remain on air until 1986 when RTÉ decided that both channels in a multi-channel landscape need to be identified as clearly RTÉ. The 1986 logo coincided with the 25th anniversary of Irish Television. The Cross on RTÉ One was animated turning into an number 1, while over on RTÉ Two it turned into a number 2. On screen this logo lasted until 1988 when RTÉ Two re-branded as Network 2 moving it further away from the sister channel RTÉ One. 10 years later the logo dropped the Brigid's Cross, and for the first time placed an accent(Fadá) on the letter E. RTÉ also formal branded Network Two on screen as part of RTÉ until 1997 when the channel was once more re-branded on screen as N2. The 3 letter are a modern take on Celtic scripting. The Brigid's Cross was seen on many RTÉ One television idents until 2003 and remains on the headed paper of RTÉ. Since 2004 all RTÉ service use the 1996 logo as part of their Identity[44][45].

Future of RTÉ

RTÉ campus entrance in Donnybrook

Finances

Controversies involving RTÉ

The Late Late Show has been involved in a number of controversies since first being broadcast on TV in July 1962, particularly during Gay Byrne's tenure, with the "Bishop and the Nightie Affair" in 1966 and a 1985 interview with a pair of lesbian former nuns which led to protesters picketing the studio with hymns and rosary beads after a High Court case during which there were calls for the chat show to be outlawed over fears it would "greatly undermine Christian moral values" and "the respect of the general public for nuns".[61] Notorious incidents during Pat Kenny's tenure included a satanic dance troupe performance and the tearing up of two tickets for The Late Late Toy Show live on air.[62]

The first sex scandal on Irish TV surrounded a sketch-drawing advert for Bri-Nylon underwear, involving a "lewd and lascivious" cartoon of Anthony and Cleopatra.[61]

Wesley Burroughs received a dressing down from RTÉ authorities after it became apparent Maggie Riordan was becoming increasingly more pregnant looking every week on The Riordans, an RTÉ soap opera he wrote for. Maggie Riordan was an unmarried woman. Burroughs was forced to consult medical texts to provide Maggie with an alternative illness.[61]

The TV drama series The Spike, broadcast on RTÉ in 1978, was involved in a sex scandal.[61]

In 1986, Mandy Smith was to be interviewed on TV's Saturday Live until RTÉ decided she should be downgraded to being a mere member of the audience. She was axed entirely when her manager disagreed, with RTÉ saying she was "not important enough" and that she might "give a bad example to young teenage girls". The story appeared in the international media.[61]

RTÉ apologised to the then Taoiseach for its part in the Brian Cowen nude portraits controversy in 2009. Future Taoiseach Enda Kenny[63] and Charles Flanagan called RTÉ's backtracking a restriction on freedom of expression,[64][65] and Liz McManus of the Labour Party criticised RTÉ for "bow[ing] to political pressure".[65]

The death of Gerry Ryan led to controversy for RTÉ when it emerged that traces of cocaine were the "likely trigger" of the star's sudden death on 30 April 2010.[66][67] Drugs minister Pat Carey said he was "a bit taken aback, first of all, by the whole attitude of RTÉ over the last while" [concerning the circumstances of Ryan's death] and, comparing Ryan's cocaine use to the 2007 death of model Katy French, said the media were "very judgmental" when French died but had now "come home to roost in their own case".[68]

RTÉ broadcast a controversial nine-minute radio interview with Taoiseach Brian Cowen from a Fianna Fáil think-in in Galway; the interview led to increased pressure for Cowen to resign in the days that followed after it was thought he had been drunk on the radio.[69]

RTÉ was forced to stop a "share deal" scheme it had offered advertisers when TV3 complained to the Competition Authority.[70]

RTÉ was sued for defamation in 2011 after making false allegations about a priest.[71][72] On 23 May that year RTÉ aired a programme called Mission to Prey, which falsely claimed that the priest had raped a woman and fathered her child while working as a missionary in Kenya. This was not true and RTÉ has apologised on a number of occasions since.[73][74][75] The priest, based in Galway but originally from Longford, said he had been "living a nightmare" after the broadcaster made the allegations.[76] The issue was serious enough to be discussed in both houses of the Oireachtas.[77] In November 2011, the priest concerned reached an out-of-court settlement with RTE, in which RTE agreed that it had seriously libelled him, and paid the priest a significant amount of money in damages. The journalists concerned, Ed Mulhall, Ken O'Shea, and Aoife Kavanagh, have stepped down from their jobs as their conduct is investigated.

See also

Further reading

References

  1. ^ "RTÉ Executive Board". RTÉ. http://www.rte.ie/about/noelcurran.html. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 
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External links

Coordinates: 53°18′53″N 6°13′26″W / 53.31472°N 6.22389°W / 53.31472; -6.22389