A telecommunications company is seeking to take advantage of the reform in broadcasting law to offer viewers free internet-based TV.
Magnet Entertainment is planning to offer customers five Irish television channels and at least a dozen radio stations for free via high-speed broadband link-ups, so sidestepping the much-maligned television licence.
The web-based system will initially only be available to half a million homes in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Portlaoise.
Mark Kellett, Magnet chief executive, said he plans to continue to shake up the market, to innovate in the interest of Irish consumers and to really compete with those companies that have held a monopoly position for too long.”.
"I think television companies need to change in the same way telecoms companies need to change. Ultimately it does signal the need for businesses like RTE to address how they meet the shortfall in revenues," he said.
The company is taking advantage of the liberal changes to broadcasting laws introduced last year by Eamon Ryan, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, who designed the new act to allow for free web-based TV.
The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland has given its blessing to the broadband internet and TV service.