Virgin gets new ten-year licence

Virgin Media Television has been granted a new ten-year national free-to-air commercial television licence by Ireland’s new media regulator and development agency, Coimisiún na Meán. Paul Farrell, managing director, VMTV, said the awarding of the licence was another milestone in the company’s journey. Farrell said it recognises the achievements of VMTV in providing trusted content to Irish audiences at no cost to the State or viewer.

“In a market that is under continued pressure from new media and changing consumption habits, we will continue to invest in original Irish content and presentation, news and current affairs, documentaries, drama and entertainment, while also shining a light on under-represented communities,” Farrell said in a statement. “We look forward to a more open debate about how the funding model needs to be reviewed to be more equitable.”


An article in the Sunday Independent last weekend reported that Farrell had written to Minister for Media Catherine Martin demanding that RTÉ divests itself of its non-public service broadcasting assets. Following the recent scandal over hidden payments to Ryan Tubridy, he called on the minister to take action over the public broadcaster’s use of millions of euro to buy US sitcoms and popular British shows including EastEnders.

Virgin also wants RTÉ to be removed from the commercial advertising market in Ireland, warning that it would “review any remedies” available to it if action is not taken immediately. Requesting a meeting to discuss the issues, Farrell said in relation to the governance of public money at RTÉ, things have been askew for a very long time.

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