Opinions Sought for New Digital Channels

18th November 2010 by Maura McHugh

Communications Minister Eamon Ryan announced this week that he is seeking the views of the public on a range of new channels proposed by RTÉ for transmission on digital television. Members of the public will have until the 10th of December 2010 to submit their views

The switch-on of digital television was announced by the Minister on the 29th of October and will include RTÉ One, RTÉ2, TV3, and TG4. RTÉ has submitted a proposal for additional channels on this free-to-air service. They are:

  • RTÉ Two HD Select
  • RTÉ News Now
  • RTÉ Jr (channel aimed at preschool children)
  • RTÉ Plus (repeat of peaktime RTÉ One content)
  • RTÉ Aertel Digital (enhanced digital teletext service)

Announcing the consultation the Minister said, “The analogue signal will be switched off by the end of 2012. Going digital has created the opportunity for RTÉ to expand its public service offering by introducing new television channels to the digital service in 2011. Today we offer the public an opportunity to comment on the proposed new channels. We welcome all views.”

This process closes on 10th December 2010.

The consultation document is available from the website.

The RTÉ DTT service, called Saorview, was launched as a trial service to 90% of the country on 29th October 2010 and currently broadcasts the 4 national Irish TV channels (RTÉ1, RTÉ Two, TV3 and TG4). The DTT network will continue to be built over the next two years and will eventually reach 98% of the population. The new digital network will eventually replace the national analogue terrestrial free-to-air TV service when this closes at the end of 2012.

Section 103 of the Broadcasting Act, 2009 requires the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to carry out a Public Value Test (PVT) on any new channels and services proposed by the public service broadcasters, RTÉ and TG4, and to consult with key stakeholders in this regard.

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