This may not be one of the most traumatic break-ups we'll be privy to in our lives, but it would still be a crying shame. There is a chance, an ever-growing chance, that Sky may stop carrying RTÉ's channels on its service. You may now take this opportunity to shed a single tear at the thought of such a beautiful union coming to an end. Take time to let this sink in and compose yourself before continuing.
A report commissioned by RTÉ has found that the station would make a sizeable amount of money were it to charge television providers for use of its service. The report found that it could earn up to €19 million from Sky alone were it to start charging the platform for carrying its channels. Given RTÉ's wage structuring, which never ceases to amaze when it is revealed each year, this should pay for approximately 17 minutes of airtime for Ryan Tubridy.
Any such change in the state broadcasters relationship with pay-TV platforms like Sky would however require a change to legislation in how the broadcaster functions.
However, as reported by Independent.ie, Sky's director of policy and public affairs, David Wheeldon, has denounced any such attempt at a move. He said in front of an Oireachtas Committee regarding the move that "There are o circumstances that we would change our approach and make payments for a free-to-air channel."
He added, in what is surely one of the most unabashed put downs ever brought up in an Oireachtas Committee that "We [Sky] can't pay for something that our customers don't value from us and can get for free from elsewhere."
It feels like there's a lot of emphasis placed behind the words 'don't value' in that statement. Let's hope this heats up to be something of a clash and that it will be settled in the only way, that I at least think is fitting, to see the two of the most prominent faces of the networks, Marty Morrissey and Rupert Murdoch, stripped to the waist, wrestling for supremacy in some kind of custom-built pit.