In 2018, €221m was collected in TV licence fees. But how much of that does RTÉ receive and what happens to the remainder?

How is the TV licence fee collected?

The fee paid towards public service broadcasting remains fixed at €160 per year and is dependent on the possession of a TV set within a household. 

Householders can pay the fee in a one-off payment either online or in post offices.

Due to its outdated format, the TV licence fee is under consideration with changes proposed in the Broadcasting (Amendment) Bill announced today by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton.

In a statement, the minister said: "We must recognise that the landscape in which broadcasters operate is undergoing a transformation and that this gives rise to new challenges. 

"Audiences are transitioning away from traditional platforms and are increasingly accessing content online through digital mediums."

Who gets the money and how much?

Of the €221m licence fee collected in 2018, €189.1 million (86%) was received by RTÉ. 

The remaining licence fee collected, €31.9m, was used to pay An Post collection costs and related charges; to provide funding for the BAI Sound and Vision Fund and to part-fund TG4.

RTÉ and TG4 were allocated €189.1m

According to an RTÉ report, in 2018 the broadcaster received €189.1m of the total €221m collected which amounted to 86% of the overall amount.

Of that revenue, 54.2% was spent on TV (RTÉ One and RTÉ2). 

Radio (RTÉ Radio 1, 2fm, RnaG and Lyric) received 20.5% of the funding. Almost 4% was spent on TG4 and 5.7% on the online section of RTÉ. 

The rest of the funds received by RTÉ were allocated to the orchestra, other channels and services, as well as governance. 

BAI Sound and Vision Scheme was allocated €15.47m

Seven per cent of TV licence receipts, which in 2018 amounted to around €15.47m, were allocated to the Broadcasting Fund, from which the Sound and Vision Scheme is funded. 

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland administers the fund with the objective to develop high quality programmes based on Irish culture, heritage and experience.

This scheme supports the production of TV and radio programmes and is used by independent producers and commercial broadcasters. 

An Post collection costs and related charges: €16.43m

The TV licence fee is collected by An Post and distributed by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

According to An Post, the Department pays An Post commission from the TV licence receipts, in respect of the TV licence activities An Post undertakes in its role as the Minister's collection agent. Last year this amounted to €16.43m.