A NEW television licensing system unveiled at RTÉ studios today by Minister for Communications Denis Naughton will now force viewers wishing to avail of the broadcasting service to undergo a theory test for a provisional, and a practical test for a full television licence.
Learner viewers will have to sit for a 45-minute test on basic television rules and regulations of the TV industry, including complex BAI guidelines, before they can go on to apply for a full television licence, which will entail passing a practical test at a designated TV licence test centre.
“Successful learner permit holders will only be allowed access to two basic TV stations, RTÉ 1 and RTÉ 2 for €255 per year,” Mr. Naughton explained, “full television licence holders will gain access to all the Irish TV stations for as little €155 per year, which is an amazing 10 euros cheaper than it is now”.
The new licensing system follows renewed calls from state broadcaster to increase the licence fee in a bid to cover the huge deficits at the station, with director-general Dee Forbes welcoming the boost in revenue.
“This couldn’t have come at a better time,” Forbes pointed out, “we were very close to sacking the commissioning editors, producers and union protected staff responsible for RTÉ’s decline over the past couple of decades. Now we can keep them all in their roles and continue ignoring the fact that television is a dying medium destined to collapse due to our failures to properly migrate the service into the 21st century,” adding, “we might even update the RTÉ player to the year 2008, and see if we can get some internet ‘hits’ all these hip young folk keep talking about these days”.
The new licence system is expected to cost the taxpayer in the region of €12bn euro over the next four years and generate an extra €500k a year for RTÉ.
“We’re also looking into compulsory TV testing, where owners will have to bring in their TV sets to be tested for ‘wave worthiness’,” Minister for Communications Denis Naughton, “this of course is more of a safety concern than a revenue concern”.
All provisional TV licence holders will be required to show an ‘L-plate’ on their front window for inspectors to see.