Oireachtas Committee shows support for independent Irish production sector ahead of Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill

Press Release

Dublin, Tuesday, 2nd November 2021: Screen Producers Ireland (SPI) welcomes strong, cross-political support for the Irish independent production sector presented in the report of the joint Oireachtas Media Committee on the pre-legislative scrutiny of the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill, which was launched today. 
The Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill contains provisions for measures related to online safety, the transposition of the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive, the dissolution of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, and the subsequent establishment of a Media Commission.
Today’s report highlights core issues raised by stakeholders, including SPI, who presented evidence to the Committee over the past year on various issues related to the Online Safety Media Regulation bill. The recommendations in this report recognises several issues relevant to the Irish independent production sector, including the introduction of a content levy on online media services that should be used to raise funding for independent production content. 
Commenting on the report, Susan Kirby, CEO, Screen Producers Ireland said, “The Oireachtas Media Committee has shown strong, cross-party support today for the Irish independent production sector by not only recommending a new content levy on online media services, but also clearly stating that it should only be accessed by the Irish independent production sector. This levy, which would be no extra cost to the exchequer, has been identified by Indecon that it could raise a minimum of €23M in additional funding for the creation of original Irish content.
“We are grateful to the Committee for taking our concerns into consideration ahead of the development of this report and look forward to further engagement with them over the coming months as the legislation to introduce the levy, alongside other measures, is debated in the Oireachtas. SPI’s focus now is the introduction of the content levy without delay so that new funding possibilities for Irish producers to create original Irish content for Irish, and international audiences, happen.”