Ireland’s new broadcasting regulator will commence operations early in 2009. The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland will take over responsibility from the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland on March 31.
The new regulator will replace the RTÉ Authority, and the governing body of TG4, as well as the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) and the Broadcasting Complaints Commission (BCC). The current five-year terms of the BCI’s chairman and staff, due to expire on December 1, have been extended through to the start of the new organisation.
The new regulator will have the power to curb ownership where a purchaser might end up with more than 25% of licences. Unlike its predecessor the power will be extended to a regional level, taking into account the local advertising market, and setting its own rules for the number of licences that can be held in a particular region.
Established in September 2001, the BCI was responsible for programming and advertising rules, and licensed the new DTT service getting underway next year.