Sky warns it will drop RTÉ if not FTA

Sky Ireland has warned it will not carry RTÉ content on its platform if the State broadcaster decides to charge a fee for its channels.

Findings in a report commissioned by RTÉ indicated that the broadcaster could earn up to €19 million by charging Sky alone for using its bouquet of channels. However, David Wheeldon , Sky’s director of policy and public affairs said the state broadcaster “wishes to both have its cake and eat it”.

Speaking to an Oireachtas Committee, Wheeldon said: “There are no circumstances that we would change our approach and make payments for a free-to-air channel. We can’t pay for something that our customers don’t value from us and can get for free from elsewhere.”

Sky is the largest pay-TV operator in Ireland with around 600,000 customers. The committee also heard from representatives of Virgin Media, who warned that the cost of RTÉ’s channels would be passed on to customers.

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