The BAI devises a policy to guide and inform its licensing activities, the Broadcasting Services Strategy.
The licensing process for commercial television is initiated by the Authority.
There are currently 3 commercial television services on-air on a national basis providing a mix of entertainment driven content, news/current affairs and sport. The stations are TV3, TV3 +1 and 3e.
Community Analogue Services
The licensing process for community analogue television services is initiated by the Authority.
There are currently 2 such services on-air; DCTV in Dublin and CCTV in Cork.
Content Provision Contracts
Any person who wishes to supply a compilation of programme material for the purpose of inclusion as part of a multiplex, or for the purpose of its being transmitted as a broadcasting service in the State, part of the State or elsewhere by means of an electronic communications network including a satellite network, an MMD system, a fixed or mobile terrestrial network, a cable television network, an internet protocol television network, or any other form of electronic communications network, must apply to the BAI for a content provision contract. There are currently 10 such contractors.
Digital Terrestrial Television
The BAI is responsible for the licensing of DTT multiplexes in Ireland additional to those provided by RTÉ. The main aim of DTT is to ensure the continued availability of a diversity of services and programming content in a digital era.
The BAI has given detailed consideration to the prospects for commercial DTT in Ireland. In 2010, following the conclusion of a licensing process initiated in 2008 for DTT for which none of the three applicants had been able to bring matters to a satisfactory conclusion, the BAI gave further detailed consideration to the prospects for commercial DTT in Ireland.
In 2013, the BAI carried out a review for its potential and the review found that the market conditions were not favourable for the launch of such a service and so it was decided not to proceed with a licensing process.
Electronic Programme Guides
An electronic programme guide means any electronic means of providing information to members of the public in relation to the schedule of programme material the subject of any broadcasting service and which electronic means is an integral part of the distribution and reception system by which the broadcasting service is provided.
The BAI is responsible for the licensing of electronic programme guide contracts and in consultation with ComReg, may prepare rules as to how the information concerning programme schedule material, if part of a guide, is presented.