Broadcasting (Funding) Act 2003

Broadcasting funding scheme.

2.—(1) The Commission shall prepare and submit to the Minister for his or her approval a scheme or a number of schemes for the granting of funds to support all or any of the following—

(a) new television or radio programmes on Irish culture, heritage and experience, including—

(i) history (including history relating to particular areas, groups or aspects of experience, activity or influence),

(ii) historical buildings,

(iii) the natural environment,

(iv) folk, rural and vernacular heritage,

(v) traditional and contemporary arts,

(vi) the Irish language, and

(vii) the Irish experience in European and international contexts,

(b) new television or radio programmes to improve adult literacy,

(c) programmes under paragraphs (a) and (b) in the Irish language, and

(d) the development of archiving of programme material produced in the State.

(2) A scheme—

(a) may only fund television programmes under subsection (1) which are broadcast—

(i) on a free television service which provides near universal coverage in the State, or

(ii) on a cable or MMD system as part of a community content contract under section 39 of the Act of 2001,

and which, other than in the case of programmes for children or educational programmes, are broadcast during peak viewing times,

(b) may only fund radio programmes under subsection (1) which are carried on sound broadcasting services (within the meaning of section 2 of the Act of 1988) licensed by the Commission or operated by Radio Telefís Éireann and which, other than in the case of programmes for children or educational programmes, are broadcast during peak listening times,

(c) may provide funding for projects relating to matters such as research, needs assessments, analyses, feasibility studies and pilot projects in relation to subsection (1)(d), including such projects undertaken by or on behalf of the Minister, and

(d) may not provide funding for programmes which are produced primarily for news or current affairs.

(3) A scheme may provide—

(a) for the making of applications by persons for funding under a scheme,

(b) general terms and conditions of funding, or

(c) that funding in a particular year will be directed at—

(i) particular classes of television or radio programmes referred to in subsection (1) including but not limited to programmes of a specified nature or subject matter, or broadcast by means of a particular medium (including media of a local or regional nature such as local or community television or radio), or

(ii) particular classes of projects referred to in subsection (1)(d).

(4) The Commission may attach to any particular funding under a scheme such particular terms or conditions as it considers appropriate in the circumstances.

(5) The Commission, in preparing a scheme, shall have regard to the understanding and enjoyment of television programmes under the scheme by persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

(6) A scheme submitted by the Commission to the Minister under subsection (1) may be amended or revoked by the Commission.

(7) The Minister may direct the Commission—

(a) to prepare and submit to him or her a scheme relating to any matter in subsection (1), or

(b) to amend or revoke a scheme.

The Commission shall comply with a direction under this section.

(8) Any amendment or revocation of a scheme under subsection (6) or (7) shall be submitted by the Commission to the Minister for his or her approval.

(9) A scheme shall, if approved of by the Minister, be—

(a) published (including publication by electronic means capable of being read in legible form), and

(b) carried out in accordance with its terms,

by the Commission.

(10) (a) A scheme shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas by the Minister as soon as may be after it is made.

(b) Either House of the Oireachtas may, by resolution passed within 21 sitting days after the day on which a scheme was laid before it in accordance with paragraph (a), annul a scheme.

(c) The annulment of the scheme takes effect immediately on the passing of the resolution concerned but does not affect anything that was done under a scheme before the passing of the resolution.