Incoherence, Mistrust And A Lack Of Synergy


RTÉ, Montrose, Donnybrook, Dublin 4: pages from the executive summary of an assessment by the European Broadcast Union

The executive summary of an assessment by members of the European Broadcast Union (EBU) into RTÉ’s future has been obtained by The Times Ireland Edition, under the Freedom of Information Act.

RTÉ refused to release the full report because it claimed “this would interfere with publishing its five-year strategic plan”.

Via Catherine Sanz of The Times:

RTÉ lacks focus and innovation, struggles to appeal to certain audiences and is wasting money, according to a critical report by public service broadcasters across Europe.

The assessment found that all levels of the state broadcaster lacked coherence and there was mistrust between departments.

It said a high level of overlap in its programming schedule had caused RTÉ to lose time, money and audience numbers.

It referenced a consistent “lack of synergy” in the organisation, which it said did not encourage innovation.

The broadcaster was at a “decisive moment” and was being stretched “beyond what is reasonable” by the number of services it ran. The report urged consolidation.

The report said that the “weak funding situation” should be countered by more aggressive lobbying.

It suggested that the organisation concentrate on services for a diverse audience base. “RTÉ needs to think differently and be free of the mindset of its traditional content offer,” it added.

Good times.

RTÉ ‘wastes cash and is losing its audiences’ (Catherine Sanz, The The Times Ireland Edition)

Read full EBU executive summary here


17 thoughts on “Incoherence, Mistrust And A Lack Of Synergy

  1. Jake38

    “… did not encourage innovation….”

    It’s hard to see how any news organization that has Marian “Wheezer” Finnucane on the radio on Saturday lunchtimes could be accused of being innovative.

    “…….RTÉ needs to think differently and be free of the mindset of its traditional content offer….”

    That’s going to be tough seeing as everyone who works there comes direct from the UCD Students Union.

  2. rotide

    Not surprising really but what’s striking is that these are actual valid problems unlike the endless predictable moans that feature every time an rte story surfaces here

  3. phil

    I’m not a fan of privatization , but I do wonder from time to time , why FG hasn’t privatized RTE, they are really into that sort of thing….

    1. scottser

      would rte be attractive for takeover? i presume they are asset rich, but they produce muck that can’t be exported and their staff are paid way over the odds. notable exception is their kids programming.
      i imagine the only reason to take it over would be to break it up and flog off bits of it like eircom.

  4. Clampers Outside!

    Quite a lot of waffle in that. I particularly liked the points on revenue…
    Lobby for more money – ie, increase the TV licence.
    Reconsider the online revenue – ie, go up against Google and Facebook who take easily 60% (which I believe is conservative). Divide what is left among all the competing media companies.

    Estimates of Irish online advertising market value is anything from €300m in 2017 to €541m in 2018.
    40% of the latter is €216m divided among all Irish media companies and the non-FB / Google owned companies.
    Ya won’t be making much programming with the scraps from that.
    Add to that that RTE already charges anything up to 10 times what Google/Facebook do for their video and or display advertising…

    where’s the money supposed to come from that this report suggests is there? Anyone?

    Yes, yes, yes …RTE does have bloated pay salaries and too many staff, but I think this report fails in its suggested solutions just as much, if not more than it hits the mark on the waste….

    I have no skin in the ad game any more, nor any connection to RTE.

    The only result I see that can come from this report, is to turn RTE into another TV3 / Virgin Media One type TV station in an industrial park.
    Fine, some may say… but don’t expect any decent programming beyond what the like of TV3/Virgin produce already to come out of it… without a doubling or trebling or quadrupling of the TV licence, which will not happen.

  5. Not on your Nelly Too

    Trying to copy the BBC model might have been a bad idea for RTÉ. Multiple tv and radio channels. Digital radio channels too? One tv channel and a few radio channels would be more affordable. But I’ve got a UK free view card in my sky box, I couldn’t tell you what RTE is like lately. Haven’t missed a second of it.

    1. Clampers Outside!

      But have they copied that model?


      RTE haven’t gotten into satellite TV. BBC owns have of commercial TV company UKTV which owns Dave, Alibi, Drama, Eden, Gold, Good Food, Home, Really, W and Yesterday…. and that’s just the UK. Add in New Zealand, Australia, the USA… and any number of other countries.

      The comparison or suggestion is nonsensical, in fairness, that RTE copied the BBC.
      It competes with the BBC, but it doesn’t or hasn’t copied it’s structures in any manner at all.

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