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Why does RTE sinkhole old shows?

  • 04-11-2022 2:20am
    Registered Users Posts: 842 ✭✭✭

    Two Examples: The Den, QuiZone

    Why on earth can RTE use taxpayer money to produce these shows, only to then deny the taxpayer the ability to consume these shows?

    I know for a fact that these shows are in RTE's online servers. I have requested access from RTE to specific episodes from these two shows, and I have been told I have to be a company that is willing to buy licensing, and that they do not sell to individuals.

    So, we paid to have these shows produced... and we have to buy the licensing rights just to watch them again?

    Can anyone shed any light on this? Why can RTE hold this kind of historical Irish television footage hostage from their funders?

    Is there a better route to go down to have the content released?

    A more recent example of this kind of carry on is The Savage Eye... they sinkholed it in protest just because Mr. McSavage doesn't pay his taxpayer bill. This is mafia type stuff.

    Please, give me your thoughts on this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,496 ✭✭✭bassy

    Think you have been burning the zig zag man

  • Registered Users Posts: 842 ✭✭✭the celtic tiger

    You're not wrong... but still, it's a good question I think.

  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 11,226 Mod ✭✭✭✭icdg

    It’s really not as simple as give you the link and away you go. There is the question of clearing any music that may have been used, what sort of royalties the cast are entitled to for repeats/home video release and how they are paid, whether the show was actually produced by RTE and they have the rights to repeat it at all, among other things that might need to be attended to.

    Shows from the pre-VHS era would have been produced with no expectation they would ever be repeated and that may effect the ability to show them.

    The Den is a curious example because (if you exclude the recent revival which wasn’t really the same show) it effectively wasn’t a programme at all, it was continuity surrounding the children’s block. As such there really would never be any expectation that it would be repeated or released on home video.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,439 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus

    Because RTE may have sold the overseas rights to others in order to fund the production (or, in the case of co-productions, may never have owned the overseas rights) so they don't have the right to stream to overseas markets.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 477 ✭✭lumphammer2

    It is mostly to do with the age we live in ... pure greed ... everyone wants to make a quick buck and milk everything to the last ... there are many types of this ...

    RTE and other stations themselves sell something to someone else to get easy money ... this is often done to facilitate the pay of presenters such as the chatshow hosts ...

    The other problem is no one will be glad of publicity anymore ... they have to get paid for everything ... I mean music here ... I remember Love/Hate on TV and then got the DVDs ... I enjoy the latter very much but the original music is not on them ... this music often was essential to convey the meaning of the scene ... the irony is much of it like the Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and Blind Willie Johnson songs used are by dead singers ... the latter prob never made anything major out of his music ... so someone else has to cadge money off these 3 legends long after they are gone ... thus when RTE did not pay extra for inclusion on the DVDs the songs did not appear ...

    People have become addicted to easy money .. royalties ... airplay money ... selling of ones claim ... the aim is to make the most out of one thing and preferable never work again ... no wonder today's era lacks creativity ...

    This clearly was not the case before ... I have Miami Vice DVDs and the original songs are on these ... Plus one has to buy their way onto chatshows today ... you pay some promotion company to get on and are not allowed on otherwise unless you have cancer or ALS ... the last 10-12 years is nothing but greed ... it is all so wrong ... when the world looks up to the likes of Donald Trump and Elon Musk more than ever before tells us what kind of world we live in ...

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,042 ✭✭✭✭Sleepy

    My wife appeared on School Around the Corner back in the day and I've found it impossible to get a copy of the show from RTE Archives. It's not like there'd be any rights issues either since it would have been produced in-house.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,051 ✭✭✭✭bodhrandude

    I agree would love to see the Zig and Zag Farmyard Animals bit again, one of the reasons they got removed from air for two weeks. Fourth post makes sense it wasn't really a programme as such as it was more of a continuity thing as cartoons such as Spike Milligan's The Ratties and the like were shown throughout it.

    If you want to get into it, you got to get out of it. (Hawkwind 1982)

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,439 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus

    They may not have a copy. Back in the 1960s TV-grade videotape was expensive stuff and was commonly reused several times. Only a limited range of programming was archived and indexed.

  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 11,226 Mod ✭✭✭✭icdg

    School Around the Corner (the 1990s Gerry Ryan version) wasn’t produced in house. It was (at the time rarer than now) an indie production from Tyrone Productions. Furthermore the last RTE series was co-commissioned with UTV - that featured schools from both sides of the border - and afterwards UTV commissioned an NI-only version with Frank Mitchell which ran for ages.

    The earlier 1960s Paddy Crosbie version was probably in-house mind. But that was the 1960s and (as the poster above says) may not even retain the tapes - they might have been wiped for something else which was common practice pre-VHS.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 842 ✭✭✭the celtic tiger

    The thing is, I know for a fact this content is still on the RTE servers.

    I dug deep into how videos were playable on the RTE site pre-Player days, and all they did was make the subdomain inaccessible to the public.

    Ironically, you can still download all the subtitles from these shows, as they didn’t make that inaccessible.

    It’s a really weird case that feels counterproductive to the “archiving Irish television” goals that RTE constantly preaches.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 64,867 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Repeat rights. The contracts with presenters etc for a huge amount of these shows will not have included continual re-use.

    Channel 4 had to change their generic programme contract to allow for that type of re-use (and also to be listed on Sky in Ireland, their previous contracts were UK-only) years and years before 4OD (now All4) started.

  • Registered Users Posts: 955 ✭✭✭Shakyfan

    Watched the Pat Shortt programme the other night! What a mess - random clips with no connection / theme and no introduction. And clips that we have seen countless times before - Lenny Henry falling off a chair, Peter Sellers telling the story of the waiter giving the customer a bottle of Italian wine. All that was missing was the one where Mike Murphy plays the prank on Gaybo at Trinity College!

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,117 ✭✭✭✭whisky_galore

    Cheap to produce a clip show with a long term RTE canteen resident.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,042 ✭✭✭✭Sleepy

    Yeah, I did some further digging and have contacted Tyrone Productions in the hope they might have a copy still.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,255 ✭✭✭cml387

    This is not just an RTE problem.

    A lot of BBC productions were co productions with other companies which may have gone bust/been taken over so the question of the rights is very complicated.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,006 ✭✭✭Tork

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of TV shows worldwide which may never see the light of day again because of these sort of complications. It also comes down to money, something that's quite an issue when it comes to paying actors etc.