great value for money from RTE

Published Categorized as politics, television

I have always had a TV licence even in flatland (where I was the only sad bastard to have one). I support the principle and enjoy the benefits of scale that make it work so much better for the BBC than it does for RTE.

while on a leaflet drop in Swords North County Dublin, an American living (and I suppose working) in Ireland challenged me (well my party political) view of the ‘TV TAX’ as he called it. while there are much more important topics in the world (see recent posts) this late 30’s guy was pretty irate about the TV licence. seening it as a TAX or a double tax this guy was having none of it, could not see why he should pay an organisation that would pay wages to Dunphy who is ‘anti-war’ (you’ve lost me sir!), he thought that market forces alone would bring us the best selection of TV programmes, like ‘Lost’ etc…. On inspection he watches ‘Fox News’ so he is paying 15 to 82 euro a month to sky for the privilege. He sees RTE x two channels and 4 radios in digital quality (which is more than I get with scabby VHF / UHF ghosting signals) while I pay my licence willingly he gets Digital RTE grudgingly.

Now Sky viewers are triple taxed to see RTE. 😉
1. Licence
2. Advertising (lots of it)
3. Subscription to Sky and specific hikes following RTE’s addition.

Economies of scale mean that issues one and two are required to provide programmes of quality see the new autumn schedule… but item 3 is not required. To solve item 3, Ireland must force RTE to put its digital satellite service Free to Air. So Noel Dempsey RTE & its audience council, and James Murdoch (BskyB) listen up, RTE is a licence funded Irish radio & TV service and it should be free to see & hear in Ireland what ever the platform….. RTE should follow BBC ITV Film 4 and make its output freely available to all.

Now many bemoaned the loss of some of the old schedule but change is inevitable, But listening to Tom Hark by the Piranhas’ at the interval break of Gretna v Derry City (1-5) on Longwave 252, while I drove home from the hospital tonight reminded me that the 42c a day RTE costs is well worth it.

Finally thanks to Derry City, Gretna may not meet Real Madrid in the Bernabeu, but Tommy Sheridan’s victory over a Murdoch title was extra ordinary and somewhat special last Friday.