RTÉ | A YEAR IN REVIEW | 2019
MODEST INCREASE IN TOTAL REVENUE TOGETHER WITH REDUCED OPERATING COSTS SEES RTÉ RETURN EBIDTA OF €8.4 MILLION, BEFORE SPECIAL EVENTS COSTS, AND AN OVERALL NET DEFICIT OF €7.2M IN 2019
See http://www.rte.ie/annualreport for full the report.
RTÉ is today releasing its Annual Report and Group Consolidated Financial Statements for the Year Ended 31st December 2019 (RTÉ submitted its Annual Report and Group Consolidated Financial Statements for the Year Ended 31st December 2019 to Government in July 2020.)
RTÉ Annual Report 2019, in summary:
- Operating costs, including the costs of special events, of €337.8 million, were reduced by €2 million compared to 2018.
- Modest increase in total revenue of €342.1m (2018 €339.1m).
- Decline in commercial revenue by €4.2 million to €145.8 million due to Brexit uncertainty and changes in media consumption habits.
- Licence fee income increased by a net €7.2 million to €196.3 million due to the €8.9 million increase in public funding in Budget 2019 from the DEASP in respect of ‘free’ television licences, a part reversal of the public funding cuts made since 2010.
- Special events, including the Rugby World Cup and local and European elections, amounted to €4.1 million and were lower than 2018 levels, resulting in a lower Net Deficit before Exceptional Items and Tax for the year of €9.1 million (2018 €12.6 million).
- Net Deficit after tax and Exceptional Items for the year of €7.2 million (2018 €13 million).
The Annual Report also highlights RTÉ’s many achievements in 2019, including:
- RTÉ Player saw a growth of 20% in viewing in 2019.
- RTÉ television had 42 of the top 50 most-watched programmes of 2019, up from 39 in 2018.
- RTÉ Supporting the Arts partnered with more than 140 local, national and community arts events, up from 130 in 2018.
- The RTÉ News studio is the busiest television studio in Ireland, broadcasting more than 1,700 news bulletins and programmes each year. It was completely refurbished in 2019.
- Demand for audience seats for The Late Late Toy Show 2019 surpassed previous years, withmore than 90,000 applications; 1.7million people watched the show on RTÉ platforms.
- The RTÉ Guide bumper Christmas issue continued to be an Irish publishing phenomenon, with almost 270,000 copies sold.
- Almost 2 million radio listeners tuned in to RTÉ each week; 51.9% of the adult (15+) population listened every week in 2019.
- In 2019 there were 75 million podcast and clip streams from RTÉ’s on-demand audio catalogue.
- 157 children joined the first RTÉ Youth Assembly on Climate
- The 2FM Xmas Ball raised over €3million for the ISPCC since 2015
- Almost 1million people tuned in to each of the Dublin v Kerry All-Ireland Football Final and Replay
- RTÉ lyric fm celebrated 20 years on air
- Ireland bid farewell to broadcasting legend, Gay Byrne.
Dee Forbes, Director-General RTÉ, said: “Across the organisation, we worked hard in 2019 to create real value for our audiences by producing more original content on RTÉ Player, diversifying into podcasts and streaming and repurposing our journalism for all platforms to reach people, wherever they are and whenever they like. We also continued to deliver on our commitment to captivating Irish audiences across our news and current affairs, sport, factual and entertainment content, while producing special shared moments, including the GAA Championship and another outstanding The Late Late Toy Showand engaging our younger audiences on a topic of worldwide concern, through the innovative RTÉ on Climate Youth Assembly.”
Dee Forbes concluded: “While there was a lot to be proud of in 2019, it was a year that ended with sadness as we lost our dear friend and colleague, Gay Byrne.”
Moya Doherty, Chair of the RTÉ Board, commented: “I said in 2018, that in 2019 we would experience another tough year for the media sector, and that proved to be true. While public-service providers, including RTÉ, made great efforts to continue to adapt and change to retain and remain relevant to audiences, the reality is that we continue to fight for our survival as the need for trusted, independent, quality journalism and programming has never been more important to our societies and democracies. In 2019 we came face to face with how a lack of funding reform and legislative planning is threatening a public-service platform that is central to our sense of selves, our communities, our cultures and our global voice.
Despite some truly great achievements highlighted in our Annual Report, RTÉ cannot run deficits indefinitely. The current funding model is broken, and RTÉ will face a material uncertainty about its capacity to provide the same level of services in the medium term if it is not resolved quickly and definitively. That is why the Future Media Commission is so important and RTÉ is fully engaged with the process.”
See http://www.rte.ie/annualreport for more and to download the full report.