iTax - Broadcasting charge 'whether you have a TV or not'


In other words government sponsored enterprise extends widens tax net to include Netflix users. If it was really a case they wanted to tax people for accessing RTE content then you would simply register your device with RTE and enter your licence number when you want to access content on RTE owned domains. This model works for Netflix, why not RTE? It would also bring down the cost of administering the scheme, there is no need for inspectors, though you would need to staff a call center to help people who are locked out.


That would have required a level of technical and organisational competence far in excess of anyone involved in this domain.

I don’t think this would have even required legislation.


The thin end of the wedge to socialism. :slight_smile:


The current setup works quite well for its intended purpose – a backdoor subsidy for An Post.

+1 - Revenue seems to be the most efficient in collecting stuff, so if you want to do something like this, add it to LPT, also: … -produced/


Lovely simple idea.

They would possibly sell more abroad than in Ireland.


This has all the makings of another massive cock-up.
The random technical details: Why 11"? What about a projector? what about mobile? Will businesses need to get licences to cover their IT equipment? If they have multiple offices, does that mean multiple licences?

And the underlying logic: that we should all pay for RTE . I will not buy a television set because I don’t want to pay RTE. I don’t want to support Ryan and Marion and Miriam and all the other overpaid under-skilled parasites. I don’t access RTE tv programming on-line either. I listen to RTE radio very very rarely (and would happily forswear it if that was required to be licence exempt).


Top streaming media sites in Ireland by Alexa rankings.


RTE once had a broadcast monopoly in this country and would import popular American shows or else do cheap imitation knock-offs of other shows. They no doubt did some good shows or had good coverage of events, but from what I remember these were far and few between. The challenge for them is to become relevant again now that the patterns of media consumption have changed, if you want to observe this first hand take your children to a far away land with only 2 RTE channels and no remote control and observe the disappointment when they can only watch what’s put in front of them. There there is Kodi that is currently sweeping the country . . .

Essentially RTE has been relegated to a pension fund that provides “news” to old people like my parents (watch the advertisements, that will tell you the demographic that is watching) and toy commercials i.e. The Late Late Toy Show had the highest ratings of any program last year. It is disappointing to see the same predictable politics being played out what they are pushing for a tax increase. What have Post offices got to do with becoming relevant in the 21st century, that business model is dying off with the six o’clock news audience. They are not unique either many other established media companies business models have failed while new models are developing.

There is a large diaspora as one ex-president claimed, why not tap into that market for new sources of revenue now you can reach them? It means having to become customer focused and engage the audience leaving behind the patrician view of the state as to how their idea of “public service” broadcasting should be imposed.


Interesting Alexa list.

Rte the top Irish site at 15, Boards and Donedeal both above the indo and ebay above the IT.

Kinda says it all.


This is where I’m at too. I can see how there is a role for public service broadcasting with the news, documentaries etc. But I am not interested in paying for 500k-a-year light entertainers, an Irish version of ‘Come Dancing’ or propping up a pension fund for the army of hangers on.


since youtube are demonetizing many content creators there (including some of my favourite tin-foil hat merchants :smiley: ) , maybe scrapping the license fee would let RTE know what its like to beg the public for donations.


Take Alexa rankings with a metric ton of salt.


I don’t have a television. I pay for broadband and subscribe to Netflix. I rarely listen to the radio and when I do it’s not RTE. I don’t access RTE content apart from occasionally looking at their cough news headlines online, and I would happily never access it again. How any reasonable person could expect me to pay for an entertainment service I don’t use, or want, is beyond me (the government propaganda spewed by RTE is at best ‘entertainment’).


I guess the argument is one of public service/public good. You don’t use RTE, but others do and so it must be funded. Sort of like you’re not in hospital today (I hope) but others are and you believe (perhaps) that sick people should be cared for and so as a social/public good you pay tax to support those hospitals.

Not saying I in any way support that argument, however! I’m happy to fund hospitals, even if they’re not ones I’m going to use (e.g. children’s hospital even if I’d no children) because of… values I suppose. I’d like them to be better run and more efficient and safer and more effective, but that’s another day’s work.

But RTE?: I just don’t see the point. Of course we don’t want all our media run by Denis O’Brien, but RTE is so poor (and so beholden to vested interests) that it’s not a meaningful response. I also don’t see how they can truly chase the public-sector banner and run an advertising model. The public money leaves them beholden to politics, the advertising money means they need to court commercial interests continuously, public service just gets squeezed out in the middle.

This, … cense-fee/ , is nonsense:

I mean, most of what they do is public service only in so far as it is a service (not a tangible good), and anyone who consumes the service can be loosely described as “the public”.

RTE gets ca €180m in licence fee revenue. I’d like to see proposals for a genuinely public-service media platform based on pure licence fee income.


Meanwhile across the water … -mzzj2spfk


And in fairness, the BBC streaming offerings are pretty good (both TV and radio), and they’ve been there for a long time.


Ultimately the arguments devolve into the question of whether this is a tax (everyone should pay to support PS broadcasting) or a charge (the people who consume it should pay). At present it’s a tax masquerading as a charge. Until we decide this it’s impossible to agree on how best to collect the money.


We should install a meter on each television, that way the people who watch more can be charged more


A tax on the ‘working class’ - you’ll give RBB and Paul Murphy another chance at martyrdom if you try and bring that in!


That’s an interesting one. But Teleplasm (which is the actual medium transmitted to and received by a television set) is not so homogeneous as water, and also rather more viscous (which is why your eyes can get tired from watching too much TV as the Teleplasm accumulates in your tear ducts). You’d need a meter that would charge you differently for when you’re looking at Ryan Tubridy versus Miriam O’Callaghan or whoever.

I’m sure that’s an easy enough technical problem though. Would the meter be before or after a recording device. i.e. if I were to store Teleplasm made from Miriam, would I have to pay for it already at that point, or only when or if I watched it?


The answer is all too simple.
RTE can scramble it’s signal.
You then pay the equivalent of the licence fee to rent the decoding box every year.

Given how great & important RTE tell us they are, I’m sure every household will gratiously rent one.
It will also ensure compliance.
If the fee isn’t paid, then the signal doesn’t get descrambled.