RTÉ’s net losses grew to €16.8m in 2011 following a further decline in commercial revenues and television licence fee income, its annual report showed today (August 2).
The loss came despite substantial cuts in the broadcaster’s operating costs as the station put in place a number of measures to curb its ongoing expenses and reduced staff numbers.
RTÉ director-general Noel Curran said in his annual review that RTÉ has reduced its operating costs by close to 20 per cent since 2008 and said that he was committed to the broadcaster breaking even in 2013.
The annual report showed that commercial revenues last year stood at €167.3m, down €8.4m on last year. In total, commercial revenues at the broadcaster are down by 32 per cent since a peak reached in 2007.
TV advertising income also fell by €6.3m over the year. The latest reduction brings the total fall in RTÉ’s TV advertising revenue to 40 per cent from the 2007 peak.
Income from the TV licence was also down and fell to €183.6m for the year, the equivalent, RTÉ said, to its licence fee earnings in 2006.
In his review, director-general Noel Curran said RTÉ is going through “a period of profound change” and spoke of the “huge challenges” the broadcaster faced.
He added that for RTÉ “must continue to reduce our costs, optimise our commercial potential to eliminate our deficit and return to a sustainable financial footing.”