herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

RTE back in profit for first time since 2007

RTE recorded a pre-tax profit of €1.1m last year but warned it's facing fresh financial challenges.

The broadcaster's commercial revenue fell 7pc in 2013 to €145.2m but the modest profit is the first made by RTE since 2007.

Director General Noel Curran said that UTV's imminent entry into the market south of the border and the growing popularity of online streaming service Netflix are just two of the challenges facing RTE.

"Economic conditions remained very challenging while competition increased and marketing budgets were further reduced," RTE noted in its annual report published yesterday.

Mr Curran said that programmes such as crime drama Love/Hate, a "rejuvenated" Late Late Show and natural history series The Secret Life of the Shannon had helped to contribute to the "rich and varied" RTE schedule in 2013.

reduced

He said that since 2008, RTE has reduced its costs by 30pc, or €133m.

Since 2008, 500 full-time staff, or 21pc of RTE's workforce, have left the broadcaster, while pay has been cut at "all levels", performance-related pay has ceased and fees for top presenters this year are nearly 40pc lower than in 2008, Mr Curran said.

Last year, Pat Kenny defected from RTE to take up a slot with Newstalk Radio. Mr Curran said that Mr Kenny's replacement, Sean O'Rourke, had "settled in very well" to his new slot.

RTE's licence fee revenue edged 1.5pc higher to €182.4m. Its commercial revenue is now lower than it was in 2003.

RTE said that TV licence evasion levels "remain a concern".

hnews@herald.ie

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