Following the recent Competition Authority ruling, it is very welcome news that RTÉ has agreed to abolish its practice of pricing television airtime based on the share it receives of an advertiser’s television budget. Their trading policy was based on the rule that the higher the share of television budget an advertiser gave to RTÉ, the less expensive the airtime. The policy made it difficult to plan budgets at an optimum level because the price of airtime on RTE rose significantly if an advertiser tried to give increased share to other television channels.
RTÉ have committed to change their trading system in July 2012, however, they planned to continue their current trading practice for the January to June period next year. Our view is that by only releasing policy and prices for the January to June 2012 six month period this will make planning television next year very difficult and will create increased uncertainty. We are expecting RTÉ to relook at this and create a more stable planning environment for 2012.
The review from the Competition Authority (to be available here from mid December this year) also brings into sharp focus the debate on how RTÉ is funded and what this may look like in the future. With the appointment of Willie O’Reilly as Commercial Director, RTÉ have signalled their intention to look at a major restructure of their commercial division which will see a more centralised commercial approach across all their media platforms. A very interesting year awaits all TV stakeholders in 2012.
Ciaran Cunningham – CEO
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