Virgin hits out at RTÉ policies in letter to DG

Virgin Media Television’s director of content has strongly criticised RTÉ policies in the Irish television market. In a letter sent to RTÉ director general, Dee Forbes, Bill Malone accused her organisation of behaving aggressively and undermining competition in the market by using its public funding to outbid it for staff, sports rights and programming.

Malone said the salaries paid to production staff and on-screen employees in Montrose were “exorbitant” and do not reflect market reality. While Virgin Media Television supports Irish content for export to global markets and sponsors events like the Dublin International Film Festival, he said his company can could only spend what they earn.

In a statement, RTÉ defended its position by saying that it was required by law to fund programming by commercial revenue and the licence fee. It was no longer availing of the State’s Covid-19 wage subsidy. As the national broadcaster, it continues to work closely with the independent sector to produce engaging and entertaining content.

The row comes as Virgin Media rolls out ‘Bring On Amazing’ 360 TV integrated marketing campaign. Created by Publicis and TV production company Antidote Films, the TV ad was directed by American Nick Roney in Vienna, with OMD handling media. It will be supported by out of home activity, which kicks off from Monday, October 19.

Commenting on the new campaign, Publicis director Jimmy Murphy said the 360 launch is huge news for Virgin Media’s customer base. “The tech sets a new benchmark and we wanted to create a world that is as disruptive and amazing as the product,” Murphy added. “It’s the perfect way to substantiate our new brand promise.”

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