Press Releases

RTÉ | A YEAR IN REVIEW | 2018

RTÉ | A YEAR IN REVIEW | 2018

SPECIAL EVENTS COSTS, EXCEPTIONAL ITEMS AND TAX RESULT IN NET DEFICIT OF €13M IN 2018

MODEST INCREASE IN TOTAL REVENUE TOGETHER WITH REDUCED OPERATING COSTS SEES RTÉ RETURN EBIDTA OF €6.5M

See http://www.rte.ie/annualreport for full the report.

RTÉ is today releasing its Annual Report and Group Consolidated Financial Statements for the Year Ended 31st December 2018.

In a challenging year, with a modest increase in total revenue, together with a reduction in operating costs, RTÉ returned higher EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) of €6.5 million compared to 2017. The cost of special events in 2018, including the Papal Visit, Presidential Election and coverage of FIFA World Cup amounted to €7.2 million, which, when combined with depreciation, tax and other charges, results in an overall Net Deficit for the year of €13 million.

The Annual Report also highlights RTÉ’s many achievements in 2018, including:

· RTÉ had 39 of the top 50 most-watched television programmes in 2018 (TAM Ireland)

· 81% of Irish adults continued to consider RTÉ to be an important part of Irish life

· More than 1,500,000 viewers tuned into the The Late Late Toy Show

· RTÉ.ie recorded 61.8 million monthly average page views

· RTÉ said goodbye to single use plastics in 2018

· RTÉ supported over 130 regional cultural events in 2018

· RTÉ’s orchestras saw attendances rise by 56%, up 79,000

· Over 1,000,000 people tuned into RTÉ Radio 1 each week

· RTÉ launched a new Diversity and Inclusion initiative in 2018

· RTÉ 2fm was the largest national station for 15-34 years olds

Dee Forbes, Director-General RTÉ, said: "Despite significant challenges last year, RTÉ continued to deliver on our commitment to captivate Irish audiences across our news and current affairs, sport, factual and entertainment content. From our in-depth coverage of Brexit to our round-the-clock output on Storm Emma, which kept the nation fully informed, and from special shared moments, such as the GAA Championship to another outstanding  Late Late Toy Show, there is much that we can be proud of."

She continued: "We want to do more. We are full of programme ideas, but every day we have to curtail our own ambitions and the creative ambitions of the broader independent production sector due to our constrained resources. TV Licence payers want us to do more and deserve more from us. However, it will not be possible for RTÉ to maintain and enhance what we do and fulfill our remit without action from Government and a solution to the funding of public service media in Ireland.

The case for increased public funding for RTÉ has been made in numerous independent reports over the past five years, including the most recent BAI review conducted in 2018 which recommended an immediate increase in annual public funding of €30 million for RTÉ. The case for reform of the TV Licence system has also been made in numerous reviews, however, to date, there has been no substantial response from Government." 

Moya Doherty, Chair of the RTÉ Board, commented: "The Annual Report for 2018 proves that the viewing and listening public still value public service media and the programming and content it provides. As each year passes, the pressures and demands on public service media increase. The second phase of technological shift is upon us with the rapid emergence of virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence - all curating and shaping our media experience. If public service media is to continue to thrive it will have to adapt and do so quickly, while remaining firmly rooted in the enduring values that remain more vital than ever.

"While much of RTÉ's future is in its own hands, ensuring RTÉ is put on a sustainable financial footing should be a shared priority, reflective of how RTÉ was established and is funded.  It is vital that government, financially and politically, underpins the work of RTÉ, through much needed reforms of the public funding system. The Board has worked to raise public awareness of these issues and commends the Executive for their ongoing success in difficult circumstances. Despite the uncertain political situation across Europe, the Board remains convinced that a willingness to rethink the public service media landscape will position RTÉ at the forefront of the new public service movement across Europe."

See www.rte.ie/annualreport for more and to download the full report.

ENDS

Neil O’Gorman, Corporate Communications Manager, RTÉ, neil.ogorman@rte.ie I M: 087 2077192

Joseph Hoban, Head of Communications and Corporate Engagement, RTÉ, joseph.hoban@rte.ie I M: 086 8128662

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