The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has today (21st November) launched a public consultation on its draft Sound & Vision III Scheme. The Scheme is provided for under the Broadcasting Fund and will replace the existing Sound & Vision II Scheme. Broadcasters, programme makers, interest groups and members of the public will have until 12 noon on Wednesday, 8th January, 2014 to make submissions, which can be done online, by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by post.
The BAI currently operates two schemes to disburse monies allocated to the Broadcasting Fund; a programming scheme, Sound & Vision II, and an Archiving Scheme. Both schemes are funded through the disbursement of 7% of the net television licence fee receipts. Over 2,000 radio and TV projects have been allocated funding of approximately €117.6m since the launch of the first Sound & Vision Scheme in 2005.
There are two key reasons for the BAI public consultation on Sound & Vision III at this time:
· The BAI completed a statutory review of Sound & Vision II in June 2013 and a number of recommendations emerged from this process, which the BAI is proposing to address in its approach to the development of Sound & Vision III.
· Ministerial and EU approval for the current Scheme expires in December 2014. The new Scheme is expected to commence operation in January 2015
While the structure of Sound & Vision III is broadly similar to the Scheme, which preceded it, due to requirements set down in legislation, there are a number of changes, which have been made in order to enhance flexibility in the planning and operation of the Scheme. The detail of the changes and the rationale for their introduction are outlined in the BAI’s consultation document.
Speaking about the launch of the public consultation, Michael O’Keeffe Chief Executive of the BAI said: “the operation of the Broadcasting Fund has been a significant function of the BAI since the initial launch of Sound & Vision in 2005. Access to the funding available under the previous Sound & Vision schemes by broadcasters and independent producers has enhanced significantly the diversity and quality of programme material available to Irish audiences.
“Following the statutory review of Sound & Vision II, the BAI is keen to build on the success of the previous schemes and to consider the views of broadcasters, programme makers and others before finalising the terms of the new scheme.”
A consultation document and the draft Sound & Vision III Scheme are available on the BAI’s website www.baifuture.ie
On completion of its review of submissions to this consultation, the BAI will finalise the draft Scheme and submit it to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources for approval. The Scheme will also require the approval of the European Commission from a state aid perspective. It is anticipated that Sound & Vision III will become operational in January 2015.