Monday 19 May 2008

RTE 3 by 2012?

According to the Sunday Business Post RTÉ aims to launch a third television channel - provisionally titled RTE 3 - as part of a free-to-air digital terrestrial television (DTT) service which should be broadcasting by 2012.

The new channel will run material from the RTE archive and other material that is in RTE's possession but is not being aired on either RTE 1 or RTE 2. The public service broadcaster is also planning to offer a fourth television service that transmits RTE 1 programming with an hour's delay, to facilitate anyone who has missed a particular show.

The four channels will be part of a package that will also feature the new Oireachtas TV channel and an Irish film channel, both of which are government-backed initiatives. The eight-channel service will also include TG4 and TV3, as well as all RTE's radio output and an upgraded interactive text facility.

All households will be able to access these channels by buying, or renting, a set-top box, which is expected to cost less than €100, according to RTE. Payment of the licence fee (€160) will also be required.

Conor Hayes, chief financial officer of RTE, said that the broadcaster's plans remained somewhat tentative pending the enactment of the Broadcasting Bill, which was launched last week by communications minister Eamon Ryan.

The bill provides for the switching off of analogue television and the launch of the two new government-backed digital channels.

The timing and precise detail of RTE's digital television strategy depends on the outcome of the competition to win the licence to manage commercial DTT services. RTE has made a bid to operate these services, in tandem with Liberty Global.

TV3 is part of a rival consortium, and plans to launch digital entertainment and news channels if it is successful.

1 comment:

JL Pagano said...

Payment of the licence fee (€160) will also be required

I wonder how much that will go up before 2012 and will the increase be used to fund the switch? Wouldn't mind some sort of guarantee that wasn't going to happen...