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4 2001

BROADCASTING ACT, 2001

PART VII

Miscellaneous

Provisions in relation to certain broadcasting services provided by Authority or Teilifís na Gaeilge.

54. —(1) In this section “secondary broadcasting service” means a broadcasting service that is not the national television and sound broadcasting service referred to in section 16(1) of the Act of 1960 or the television service referred to in section 45 (1).

(2) In relation to any secondary broadcasting services provided by the Authority or Teilifís na Gaeilge—

(a) each such body shall keep, separately from the accounts it keeps in respect of its other activities, such accounts in respect of the provision of those services as it is required by section 25 of the Act of 1960 or, as the case may be, paragraph 17 of the Second Schedule to this Act to keep in respect of the carrying on by it of those other activities,

(b) moneys which it receives in consideration of broadcasting advertisements on any free-to-air service, the provision of which by it commenced before the passing of this Act, or from sponsorship of such a service, shall not be used to defray, in whole or in part, the expenses incurred by it in providing a secondary broadcasting service that is not a free-to-air service or taking any steps in pursuance of arrangements entered into under subsection (4) for the purposes of such a service.

(3) The Minister may require the Authority or Teilifís na Gaeilge to prepare, and furnish to him or her, such financial and other statements as he or she may specify indicating the extent to which, in its opinion, the provision by it of any secondary broadcasting services has, in a specified period—

(a) facilitated the provision by it of any free-to-air service, the provision of which commenced before the passing of this Act, or contributed to an improvement in the quality of that service,

(b) in the case of the Authority, facilitated the carrying on by it of any activity, apart from broadcasting, mentioned in section 16 of the Act of 1960,

and the Authority or Teilifís na Gaeilge, as the case may be, shall comply with such a requirement.

(4) The Authority and Teilifís na Gaeilge may each, for the purpose of providing a secondary broadcasting service, enter into arrangements with a holder of a digital content contract whereby that holder provides a compilation of programme material to it for that service.

Provisions in relation to contracts generally under Act.

55. —(1) Without prejudice to any specific provision of this Act, or of a contract thereunder, in that behalf, the Commission may terminate or suspend for such period as it specifies any contract entered into by it under this Act—

(a) if any false or misleading information was given to the Commission by or on behalf of the holder of the contract before it was entered into, or

(b) if the holder of the contract, has, in the opinion of the Commission, failed on one or more occasions to comply with a term or condition of the contract and the nature of that failure is of such seriousness as, in the opinion of the Commission, warrants the termination or suspension by it of the contract.

(2) A contract terminated or suspended under this or any other provision of this Act, or pursuant to a provision of that contract, shall, in case it is terminated, cease to have effect and, in case it is suspended, cease to have effect for the period for which it is suspended.

(3) A contract under this Act may contain such terms and conditions as the Commission considers appropriate and specifies in the contract.

(4) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (3) or any other provision of this Act, a contract under this Act may include—

(a) terms or conditions with respect to—

(i) the period during which the contract shall continue in force,

(ii) whether the contract may be renewed and, if so, the manner in which, the terms on which, and the period for which, the contract may be renewed,

and

(b) a condition prohibiting the assignment of the contract or any interest therein.

Fees in respect of applications for contracts.

56. —The Commission may charge a fee, of such an amount as it considers reasonable, in respect of an application made by a person to the Commission for the entry into, by the Commission with that person, of—

(a) a contract under the Act of 1988, or

(b) a contract under this Act.

Offences.

57. —(1) A person who contravenes section 12 (1), 16(2), 36(1) or subsection (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (8), (9), (12) or (13) of section 37 shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) shall be liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £1,500 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both,

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding £15,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or both.

Provision of moneys by Minister to Commission.

58. —The Act of 1988 is hereby amended by the substitution of the following section for section 20:

“20. Without prejudice to section 23 (4) or 59(3) of the Broadcasting Act, 2001, the Minister, after consultation with the Commission and with the consent of the Minister for Finance, may from time to time pay to the Commission such an amount as he or she determines to be reasonable for the purposes of defraying the expenses incurred by the Commission in performing its functions.”.

Capital grants to-sound broadcasting contractors.

59. —(1) The Commission shall, as soon as may be after the commencement of this section, prepare a scheme providing for the grant by it of such an amount of moneys, if any, as it considers appropriate to each relevant sound broadcasting contractor for the purposes of defraying capital expenditure incurred by the contractor in connection with the transmission by it of a sound broadcasting service.

(2) A scheme under subsection (1) shall—

(a) provide for the making of applications to the Commission by relevant sound broadcasting contractors for the grant, under the scheme, of moneys to them,

(b) provide that the Commission, in considering any such application, shall have regard to—

(i) any difficulty the applicant has experienced in providing a sound broadcasting service in the area to which his or her sound broadcasting contract relates,

(ii) the financial resources available to the applicant for the purposes of providing such a service,

(iii) the improvement (if any) in the quality of the service concerned that has resulted or, as the case may be, is likely to result by reason of the capital expenditure, the subject of the application, being incurred.

(3) The Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, may pay to the Commission such amounts as he or she determines to be reasonable for the purposes of the making by the Commission of grants of moneys under a scheme under subsection (1).

(4) The aggregate of the amounts paid under subsection (3) to the Commission shall not exceed £500,000.

(5) In this section “relevant sound broadcasting contractor” means a sound broadcasting contractor whose sound broadcasting contract authorises the provision of a sound broadcasting service in a specified part only of the State or to a local community that is readily identifiable.

Amendment of section 6 of Act of 1988.

60. —Section 6 of the Act of 1988 is hereby amended by the insertion of the following subsections after subsection (3):

“(4) In considering the suitability of an applicant for the award of a sound broadcasting contract, the Commission shall have regard to the overall quality of the performance of the applicant with respect to the provision by him of a sound broadcasting service under any sound broadcasting contract held by him at, or before, the date of the making of the application.

(5) Where the Commission decides to refuse to award a sound broadcasting contract to an applicant therefor, the Commission shall notify the applicant of the reasons for the decision.”.

Amendment of section 8 of Act of 1988.

61. —Section 8 of the Act of 1988 is hereby amended by the substitution, in subsection (1), of “thirty” for “fourteen”.

Amendment of section 15 of Act of 1988.

62. —The following section is hereby substituted for section 15 of the Act of 1988:

“Derogation from requirements relating to news and current affairs programming.

15. Notwithstanding section 9(1)(c), the Commission may authorise a derogation from the requirement in question in whole or in part in the case of a sound broadcasting service which a sound broadcasting contractor contracts to provide in any area, but only if it is satisfied that the authorisation of such a derogation would be beneficial to the listeners of sound broadcasting services in that area.”.

Amendment of section 15 of Act of 1960.

63. —Section 15 of the Act of 1960 is hereby amended—

(a) in subsection (3), by the insertion after “amending” of “or revoking”,

(b) in subsection (6), by the insertion after “in pursuance of a scheme” of “or schemes”, and

(c) by the insertion after subsection (6A) (inserted by the Act of 1976) of the following subsection:

“(6B) No pension, gratuity or other allowance shall be granted by the Authority on the resignation, retirement or death of an officer or servant of the Authority (including the Director-General) otherwise than in accordance with a scheme under this section or, if the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, sanctions the granting of such a pension, gratuity or allowance, in accordance with that sanction.”.

Amendment of Schedule to Act of 1988.

64. —Paragraph 11 of the Schedule to the Act of 1988 is hereby amended—

(a) in subparagraph (3), by the insertion after “amending” of “or revoking”, and

(b) in subparagraph (6), by the insertion after “under this paragraph” of “or, if the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, sanctions the granting of such a pension, gratuity or allowance, in accordance with that sanction”.

Religious advertising.

65. —Nothing in section 20(4) of the Act of 1960 or section 10(3) of the Act of 1988 (including either of those sections as applied by this Act) shall be construed as preventing the broadcasting of a notice of the fact—

(a) that a particular religious newspaper, magazine or periodical is available for sale or supply, or

(b) that any event or ceremony associated with any particular religion will take place,

if the contents of the notice do not address the issue of the merits or otherwise of adhering to any religious faith or belief or of becoming a member of any religion or religious organisation.