RTÉ admits digital TV launch delay
by Andy Sennitt
The director general of Irish public broadcaster RTÉ has publicly admitted that launching Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) in September is no longer a “reasonable” prospect. When the consortium originally charged with rolling out the commercial arm of DTT walked away from the project in April, sources close to Communications Minister Eamon Ryan insisted the development would have no impact on RTÉ’s plans to launch public service DTT in September.
But at a briefing last week, RTÉ boss Cathal Goan said that it was his view that RTÉ and the commercial operator should launch their services simultaneously, and that means RTÉ will have to wait.
At the same briefing, Mr Goan also confirmed that RTÉ’s continued €300,000 annual investment in DAB digital radio was a “live question” being considered as part of cost cuts designed to combat a predicted €68m shortfall in the national broadcaster’s 2009 revenue.
But he added that DAB’s support would be viewed in light of the expense of establishing the platform, and the benefit to the public of the four extra radio stations that are available through DAB in the Greater Dublin area, the North East Coast and Cork and Limerick cities, as well as online and on NTL and Chorus Digital.