The new RTE channel aimed at the British mainland could be only months away from launch. Legislation that will permit the public broadcaster to directly target Britain for the first time is due to be put in place by the Irish parliament, The Dail, before the end of February. The previous attempt Tara TV, a joint venture between RTE Enterprises and UGC Europe, closed in 2001.
The new channel will offer a mix of Ireland’s three public channels, RTÉ One, RTÉ Two and TG4, though key sports events will need to be stripped out of the service. It will be funded in part from the £8 million increase RTE is expected to receive as its annual licence fee settlement. The Irish television viewer has to pay £105 a year to fund the broadcaster.