Today, tomorrow, together
RTÉ is Ireland’s national public-service media organisation – on television, radio, online and mobile.
The 60th Annual Report and Group Financial Statements for the 12 months ended 31 December 2020 presented to the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media in line with sections 109 and 110 of the Broadcasting Act 2009.
Is féidir leagan Gaeilge den Tuarascáil a íoslódáil ó www.rte.ie/annualreport
RTÉ, as the national public service media, has unique responsibilities. At the heart of these is the mission to provide people in Ireland with an impartial and comprehensive news service, and to entertain, inform and illuminate. Never was that mission more acute, and more demonstrable, than in 2020.
When the nation came together in crisis, audiences of all ages turned to the national broadcaster for information, advice, entertainment, companionship, diversion and cultural connection. In an era of misinformation and half-truths, millions of Irish citizens relied on public service media more than ever. Independent research showed that 90% of people turned to RTÉ News for vital information in 2020; B&A research confirmed that 4 out of 5 of those surveyed said that they were using RTÉ television or radio services for information, while 76% indicated that they would trust either of those sources above all others.
It is remarkable, in retrospect, that RTÉ maintained full schedules across all services in 2020, and where necessary augmented planned coverage with additional live broadcasts and new programmes. While certain productions had to be suspended or stepped down due to public health restrictions, other dedicated programming was commissioned with exceptionally tight deadlines. Achieving this level of resilience and output under such challenging circumstances was far from easy. I am incredibly proud of the tireless work by our staff and our partners in the independent sector to find solutions and work with creativity, determination and commitment, to ensure that we deliver services for the people of Ireland.
2020, the year of the pandemic, was a year of contrasts. While we were finding ways to negotiate the difficulties and family tragedies the virus wrought, we also saw the emergence of new forms of thinking, new ideas, new ways to communicate and new forms of community partnership.
Like many businesses, RTÉ’s financial position was significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The initial impact of the pandemic restrictions led to an unprecedented and severe decline in revenue, both commercial and licence fee, and cessation of production activity.