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RTÉ faces critcisim for digital fees

The Irish broadcasting authority has criticised Irish public broadcaster RTÉ for the fees it charges rival channels to appear on its digital terrestrial television service Saorview.

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has put together a report expressing concern that channels must pay up to €1 million per year to appear on the service and this cost structure will mean that it would be “unlikely” that than any third party channels would be carried on the second digital terrestrial multiplex unless this cost structure was altered.

The first multiplex offers channels RTÉ1, RTÉ2, TV3, TG4 and 3e as well as new stations RTÉ News Now, RTÉjr and RTÉ 1+1. The BAI said that it had received expressions of interest from 11 channel operators but that none of these channels were likely to be ready until near October 2012, the proposed date for Irish switchover.