However, new figures provided by the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sports and Media, Catherine Martin, show that the numbers of TV licence holders not renewing their €160 TV licence has declined sharply this month on the previous four months, which will provide some welcome relief to senior RTÉ executives.
In a written Dáil reply to Brendan Griffin TD (FG), Ms Martin revealed that revenues from the TV licence were down 29.3pc from July 1 to October 31 compared to the corresponding period for last year, resulting in a €16.08m loss in TV licence income.
The 29.3pc drop for the four months followed the RTÉ payments scandal which erupted in late June followed the disclosure of €225,000 in payments to Ryan Tubridy, adding to the existing financial crisis at RTÉ.
The crisis triggered the departure of several key executives from the national broadcaster and a severing of ties between the broadcaster and Tubridy.
Tubridy has now secured a new job at UK station Virgin Radio, with his slot also being broadcast on several Irish stations.
Last week, the Government agreed to provide a €56m bailout for RTÉ after the broadcaster set out plans to reduce its workforce by 400 by 2028.
However, the new figures show that the rate of those not buying a licence in November is down sharply on the 29pc not renewing for the previous four months.
The figures show that from November 1 to November 12, 24,482 purchased a licence and this compares to 26,572 for the corresponding period in 2022 – a drop of 8pc or 2,090.
This translates to a loss of €334,400 in licence revenue but is a much improved return on the loss in TV income of the prior four months.
Overall, from July 1 to November 12 licence revenue is down €16.4m.
This follows 100,507 opting to renew their licence from July 1 to the end of October with 242,118 opting to pay the €160 to renew compared to 342,775 for the corresponding period in 2022.
The detailed breakdown show that licence income for October was €4.34m down on October 2022 when 27,183 people decided not to buy or renew and this followed licence fee income down €4.37m on September 2022 when 27,365 opted not to renew.
This followed a €3.69m drop in licence TV income in August and €3.66m in July.
RTÉ receives 93pc of net TV revenue sales and in her written response Ms Martin said that the TV licence funds a broad range of public sector content, enabling essential news and current affairs programming as well as supporting the creation of high quality content on culture, sport, entertainment, music and more.
She said: “It remains critically important that people continue to pay the TV licence fee. It is not only required by law, it underpins availability of public service content which is of critical importance to our democracy and society.”