TV3 have issued High Court Proceedings against the RTÉ Transmission Network. The commercial Irish broadcaster is seeking to regain repayment on some of the transmission fees it paid the state broadcaster over a 10 year period.
The high court proceedings are with regards to an on-going dispute between TV3 and RTÉ relating to transmission fees paid by TV3 to the state broadcaster between 1998-2008. TV3 claims that it is owed money back from the fees it paid to RTÉ Transmission Network Limited. When the contract was first put in place upon TV3’s launch in 2008, transmission fees were unregulated. However in 2004, the ComReg took on this function. TV3 allege that the fees they were charged in their contract with RTETNL from 1998-2008 were significantly higher than the regulated prices charged to TG4. The recent legal action by TV3 is to ensure that the case does not fall outside the Irish Statue of Limitations. CEO of TV3 Dave McRedmond commented to IFTN about the action saying “this is a historic complaint relating to our last contract. We very much hope the investigation from the ComReg will resolve it.”
A representative from RTÉ also commented to IFTN saying “The 1st Contract between TV3 and RTÉ for the provision of terrestrial transmission services concluded on the due date in September 2008. With effect from September 2008 TV3 freely entered into a new contract for the continued provision of transmission services with RTÉ’s wholly owned subsidiary, RTÉNL. There are no amounts or obligations outstanding in respect of the 1st Contract and thus far both parties have honoured their obligations in relation to the 2nd Contract. RTÉ is not aware of any legal action in respect of either contract.”
The dispute will be investigated by the communications regulator, the ComReg, who became involved after a complaint by TV3 that RTÉ was engaged in anti-competitive practices in regards to network charges. In an interview with The Sunday Times last Sunday Director General Noel Curran commented on rival “concerns” about RTÉ running the state’s broadcasting transmission network, he said that RTÉ “needs to address those concerns.” Earlier this week, RTÉ Director General Noel Curran annouced a slew of cost-cutting measures to be implemented at the state broadcaster to combat growing deficits.