[IE] Broadcasting Authority launches online Media Ownership database 

IRIS 2021-1:1/14

Ingrid Cunningham

School of Law, National University of Ireland, Galway

On 11 November 2020, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) launched a new website that provides information about the ownership and shareholdings of Irish media companies. The website provides “a structured and searchable reference database of media businesses that serve Irish audiences.” The project forms part of the BAI’s commitment to promoting media plurality, in line with the provisions in the Broadcasting Act 2009 and the Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014. The media outlets included in the database “comprise national and local newspapers, radio stations, television channels and media websites.” Members of the public can search the database by outlets, owners and shareholders in order to improve their understanding of the Irish media landscape.

The Chief Executive of the BAI, Mr Michael O’Keefe, stated on the launch of the database that “the BAI is committed to promoting media plurality in Ireland and also to empowering audiences.” Mr O’Keefe further highlighted the role the BAI has in advising the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media on proposed media mergers in the context of protecting the plurality of media, adding that "the information in this database will also act as an important resource when examining the impact any proposed media merger may have." The website currently provides information on media ownership in Ireland up to the end of 2019, and the database will be updated in 2021 to reflect the position at the end of 2020. The School of Communications at Dublin City University has been commissioned by the BAI to design and maintain the media ownership website, which can be accessed at


This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.