BAI starts consultation on new FM services

The BAI has launched a public consultation on a draft revised Broadcasting Services Strategy, to help decide the future expansion of FM services.

The purpose of the consultation is to share the BAI’s vision for the broadcasting landscape and to elicit the views of stakeholders on this vision and options for future development.

As part of the process of revising the current strategy, the BAI commissioned a report on market structures, dynamics and developments in Irish media. Produced by research company Mediatique, the report is available on the BAI website to help to inform those wishing to make submissions during the consultation process. The process will draw on responses to the BAI’s call for submissions from parties interested in the provision of new FM analogue sound broadcasting services, which was issued in June 2017.

Commenting, chair of the BAI, Professor Pauric Travers said: “The Broadcasting Services Strategy is an important document in that it provides the framework for the formulation of licencing and associated activities of the BAI. The ultimate purpose of the strategy is to ensure that Irish audiences are served by a diverse range of broadcasting services that are open and pluralistic in nature. Central to the BAI’s vision is choice and diversity for audiences and an expectation that all audiences will be served. It will provide a framework for an Irish media landscape that reflects and shapes who we are.”

A consumer survey was also carried out as part of the Mediatique report to determine consumer preferences, behaviours and viewpoints on the broadcast market. Among its findings were that media consumers undertake an increasing range of activities, although both broadcast TV and broadcast radio remain the largest media in terms of activity and time spent.

BAI chief executive, Michael O’Keeffe said: “The survey results were very interesting and further highlighted an increasingly complex picture of broadcast content consumption in Ireland. However, it was heartening to see that TV and radio remain the dominant media among all age groups. Respondents were broadly happy with the performance of Irish radio and TV broadcasters, but scope for an improvement in the way they reflect Irish culture and diversity was identified, as well as a desire for an increase in Irish-made content. These are areas we have identified and made a commitment to in our Strategy Statement 2017-2019.

“The wider public can now have their say on the new Broadcasting Services Strategy and I hope that all those who have views on the future licencing of broadcasting services in Ireland will take the opportunity to make a submission and to inform the Authority’s decision in respect of the final document.”

The closing date for submissions in response to the questions set out in the consultation document is 12.00 noon on Tuesday, 19th June 2018. A copy of the consultation document is available on the BAI website here, where details on options for making submissions are also available.

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