rte in 2016
rte in 2016
rte in 2016
rte in 2016
If you didn't already know TG4 began broadcasting 20 years ago today. Since then it has proven itself to be the quintessential public service broadcaster. It entertains, it informs and it educates. It gave us a different view (suil eile) and it proved that Irish TV could be strong, in an era when we were bereft of strong national TV. For those of us in 2 TV land it gave us an expectation as to what TV3 should have been, and 2 years later we were slightly disappointed.
In fairness to RTÉ TV its been a big year for them with 1916 celebrations, the general election, the Euro's 2016 and Rio 2016. A summer of sport and a year of celebration and change. In fairness to the national broadcaster they delivered and Autumn on both channels seems to try to keep up. RTE, like other broadcasters are suffering, and you'd have to ask if their autumn line up really works
In 2001 UTV (proper) had a market share of 10% south of the border. In the 1990s it benefited great from Ray Burke's limits on RTÉ advertising. It was the de facto commercial Television service. In 2001 TV3 and RTÉ2 also had an audience share of 10% each. By 2014 on the announcement of UTV Ireland UTV (proper) had just 3% of the market. You can imagine why, when TV3 dropped Coronation Street, UTV saw this an opportunity to regain lost ground.
TG4 has decided to drop its usual repeat of classic episodes of their twice weekly soap in favour of BBC quiz shows. In a statement received by CCÉ TG4 said "Our policy in relation to repeat broadcasts of the early years of this very popular flagship drama series on TG4 has been to do so and assess the viewer response – taking care not to diminish their value by over-exposure."
Since the beginning of 2015 TV3 has under pressure to retain and gain an audience. Earlier this year Virgin Media successfully bought the ailing channel at a cut price adding to its collection of media interests. The task of returning TV3 to its former self is not a task many in TV would relish, and it seems that Lynda McQuaid has decided to call it quits at the broadcaster, less than a year into her new post. She entered the job during a time of over saturation in the advertising opt-out market and declining audiences for Irish TV channels from both live and on-demand content providers. Jeff Ford exited the broadcaster to Fox in the UK leaving his successor with a massive drop in audience share from when he started back in 2009. As Lynda McQuaid leaves TV3 had just 8% share of the audience in 2015 and in January it dropped to 7%.
Broadcasting is becoming old fashioned but both the Right and the Left of the political spectrum have huge interest in the National Broadcasters. Renua plan is simple cut the License Fee and retain just €56million from the Department of Social Protection for the procurement of Public Service broadcasters from different sources. The proposal is cost neutral according to the Party. As such RTÉ must stand on its own two feet. So why the problem with such a simple and, for many voters, an agreeable plan.
I have only met Pat Rabbitte, former Labour Party Leader, once. First impressions last as they say. I found him to be rude and powerless, this was at the height of his career as Minister for Communications. I decided to rush down to Cork to go to RTÉ's 50th celebrations at UCC. It was made up of the usual heads and a few of the public. Actually having it in Cork meant that much of the Dublin media were absent, meaning a slightly better conversation about Broadcasting in Ireland.
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has paved the way for the acquisition of TV3 by Virgin Media Ireland (Liberty Global). The news comes following a number of failed attempts by TV3 owners Doughty Hanson to sell the company following its acquisition of the broadcaster in 2006 for €265 million from Canwest and ITV. The deal means that Liberty Global will buy TV3 via Virgin Media Ireland for an estimated €80 million, a fraction of the 2006 price.
UPC have bought TV3 for €80m. A massive drop from the price paid by Dogherty Hanson in 2006. Equity Portfoilio company Doherty Hanson bought the channel for €265m from then owners Canwest and ITV. This marks a 70% drop in the vaulation of the company in the last 9 years. We mark the sale of TV3 with a review of Irish TV in 2015.
The BBC have announced they are to remove TV channel BBC Three from traditional TV broadcast and move it to online only. The planned move was put into motion 6 months ago when the BBC executive asked the BBC trust for the move. The trust set out a number of conditions for the move, but it is expected to be complete by the beginning of 2016. A final decision will be made on the 27th of July.
The Seven O Clock Show is getting the same average audience as Ireland AM and 85% less than programmes airing during that time slot in 2014. The show has gained no ground in the last 5 months on the air with an average of just 45,000 viewers, TV3 do manage to hold on to those 45,000 viewers for TV3 News at 8 but this compares with an average of 140,000 viewers in that time slot a year ago.
TV3 presented their plans for the coming autumn season to the Advertising world today. The TV3 Group had already largely stated what it plans to do over the next 18 months. Like the last two "upfronts" TV3 showed off its Rugby World Cup Coverage, which is due to take place in England in September. The second season of The Great Irish Bake Off featured again in this round of upfronts, while The Restaurant is due to return to the channel after successful ratings earlier this year. No mention of TV3 HD.
TV3 bosses are planning a major shake-up of TV3. They are reportedly considering extending Ireland AM to the weekends and rebranding other TV3 programmes as Ireland AM. Saturday AM and Sunday AM are expected on screens first followed by the renaming of some of their most popular daytime TV chat shows to reflect the new brand. Saturday AM will be hosted by Simon Delany, while Newstalk’s Ivan Yates will host Sunday AM. Both shows will be co-hosted by Anna Daly. This will add 6 hours to Ireland AM's current schedule, though it is expected that both shows will air at about 10am rather than 7am, in a view to capitalise on those who rise early at the weekend.
RTÉ, the BAI and DCENR have refused to give details of proposed changes to RTÉ schedules that never took place. These proposed changes took place (sorry did not take place) in 2013 when RTÉ requested that it move all RTÉjr programming from RTÉ2. In an FoI all three organisation took the decision to refuse the freedom of information request on a lapsed project where no ministerial decision was ever taken, no public consultation was provided and where the project was ultimately scrapped by RTÉ.
After just 5 months on the air UTV Ireland has taken the decision to move their 6:30 Ireland Live news programme to 5:30. A decision that harks back to the days when TV3 moved its 6 O'Clock news to 5:30. The reason given in the press by UTV points to detail research of its audience. UTV Ireland's research found that a 5:30 news was what its audience wanted. You would wonder if any reporter got to see this research. But why could this decision be a mistake?
Setanta Sports have announced that they will broadcast Wimbledon for the next 3 years. Wimbledon yet again is lost from Irish Terrestrial TV as TG4 had previously broadcast the tournament since 2005 after a 8 year hiatus from Terrestrial TV when RTÉ decided to drop the tournament in 1998, stating it could not compete with the BBC's loyal Irish Audience. All 26 games will air across the Setanta Ireland and Setanta Sports 1. Setanta retains their rights to the French Open until 2019.
Irish television channels scheduled 784 films for broadcasts in the last 6 months. A total of 128 title were repeated over that same period. RTÉ One had the lowest number of repeats with just one repeat of the 193 films it scheduled, 3e had the highest number of repeats repeating 53 films over the period, having scheduled 113 altogether. Only 4.8% of all movies scheduled are of Irish origin, while just 2.6% come from outside Hollywood.
TV3 have just added the FA Cup Final to its sporting events available for it to broadcast. This comes with news that it had retained UEFA Champions League coverage and the coverage of the Rugby World Cup 2015. TV3 is heating up the pressure on competitors Setanta Sports, Sky Sports and RTÉ2, as it begins picking up more sporting events since lossing UEFA Europa League to Setanta Sports, GAA to Sky Sports and ITV Soaps to new entrant UTV Ireland. TV3 has been steadly holding on to 8% of it audience since the depature of ITV soaps, but it has increase it audience for Champions League and Britian's Got Talent and is expected to repeat this success with Live coverage of the FA Cup Final and the Rugby World Cup 2015.
RTÉ are celebrating the 2nd Birthday of RTÉjr with the return of some of previous cast members of The Den. Zig and Zag is a new animated series which will broadcast on RTÉ's dedicated channel to the under 6s. The new series comes 30 years after the debut of Dempsey’s Den on Irish screens in 2016.
With the arrival of UTV Ireland much of the programming that UPC customers enjoyed on UTV is available across a number of broadcasters. TV3 and RTÉ both hold some rights to ITV programming, hence why UTV Ireland doesn't carry those shows. UTV Ireland we imagine took the decision not to air the UK General election debate which aired on UTV, STV and ITV. RTÉ took the decision to air the debate on their dedicated digital news channel RTÉ News Now, but they also took the decision to interrupt that live broadcast for the RTÉ Nine O'Clock News, but why?
RTÉ2's decision to air Friends in prime time seems like the easy and simplest way for the channel to schedule during those Soap Opera hours. The stripped schedule for niche broadcasters has been the backbone to most cable services of the past 25 years and is largely over looked by Mainstream TV particularly in prime time. Niche TV seems to be slowly dying away with reports that Viacom (and other owners of niche TV stations) showing their stripped schedules are being replaced by on demand viewing such as Netflix. On demand viewing will eventually hit Mainstream broadcasters and as Netflix begin producing more and more of their own content it will see growth for its on-demand service. But you have to question RTÉ2's decision on Friends.
TV3 has signed a contract with the BAI to extend its licence for its time shift channel, TV3 +1. TV3 original signed an extension to its Public Service Contract with the BAI in December to allow it to broadcast TV3 +1 on cable services. On December 2nd, 2014, TV3+1 began broadcasting on the UPC cable network, the BAI and TV3 signed an extension to the TV3 contract on December 22nd, 2014. On February 24th, 2015 the BAI and TV3 signed an extension to the contract to included satellite and digital terrestrial television.
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White, T.D., has said he is not in favour of providing any of the licence fee to the Oireachtas for transmission costs. The Minister says he "would not be in favour of such a solution as it would further diminish the funding available to the public service broadcasters and for financing Irish public service content." The Minister also said that his department has yet to receive any request from RTÉ for new broadcasting services, as reported in The Sunday Times that RTÉ are planning to provide new services such as RTÉ2+1 and the introduction of advertising on RTÉ News Now.
TV3 is under pressure to retain and gain an audience. It's not a task many in TV would relish. An over saturated advertising opt-out market and declining audiences for Irish TV channels from both live and on-demand content providers. Jeff Ford exits to Fox in the UK leaving his successor, Lynda McQuaid, with a massive drop in audience share from when he started back in 2009.
TV3 will be available on UPC and Sky platforms in HD from August just in time for the Rugby World Cup. TV3 confirmed its exclusive coverage of the Rugby World Cup: England 2015. All 48 matches will air on TV3 in September providing free-to-air coverage across Ireland on Saorview. The announcement was made at The Merrion Hotel in Dublin on Thursday (26/02/2015). Coverage will be hosted by Matt Copper.
Tuesday Nights (24/02/2015) coverage of UEFA Champions League on TV3 reached 887,400 viewers for Manchester City v Barcelona. The average audience for the match was 270,900 with Barcelona's 2-1 victory over City. TV3 took 18% of the available audience. TV3 will continue to have Tuesday Night UEFA Champions League matches for the next 4 season, having recently signed a 3 year deal with UEFA to retain the rights.
Red Rock is Ireland's latest soap opera. A good series so far, however it audience numbers have dwindled since its first episode aired in January. This fall was to be expected with any new soap or drama however TV3's other programmes are causing Red Rock's haemorrhaging of viewers. Had Red Rock premiered on either RTÉ ONE or UTV Ireland it would have seen a huge bounce in numbers due to the different level of programming available on TV3's main competitors.
UTV Ireland should be welcomed on all platforms. There is no real reason for the Minister to designate it as a Public Service Broadcaster as there are many other laws that could be referenced before a minister would take the step of declaring the channel Public service in nature. It was wrong of TV3 to argue that UTV Ireland should not appear on Saorview, but it is also wrong for a Minister to declare something Public Service in nature to get around such arguments. After all we live in a democracy and really if it is government policy to set up a new Public service broadcaster then they should launch a transparent competition for that service, overseen by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). It also does not mean that UTV Ireland will pay the same BAI levies as the other radio and TV broadcasters in the country or that UTV Ireland have any requirements for Irish programming.
TG4 will not really be effected by the introduction of UTV Ireland. TG4 from an Irish Language point of view is in a very weak position. It stands alone. Like TV3 its website lacks news, sports and entertainment, it’s basically a corporate website. They are to the fore of the on-demand being one of the first Broadcasters to actually provide such a service. TG4 suffers from its lack of connection with other Irish Language media. CnaG, TnaG and RnaG all have a responsibility to Irish Language media. Surely if as a country we are to support the Irish Language we should have a single broadcaster that can compete in a saturated English Language market. TG4 is a great station, its staff know their audience and can press buttons that other Irish channels just cannot. If TV3 or RTÉ2 took a look west they could push through.
TV3 have the biggest battle in 2015. This battle hasn’t been helped by management decisions to drop Coronation Street and Emmerdale. It’s conceivable that TV3 were playing hard ball in negotiations not expecting anyone to pick up the rights outside of TV3, let’s face it if ITV had approached RTÉ to see the shows return to RTÉ there would have been uproar from TV3 and it is possible that RTÉ wouldn’t have entered such negotiations with ITV. Whatever happened UTV Ireland now have the 2 top soaps from ITV and it is up to TV3 to fight this battle on the air. It is disappointing to see TV3 fail to move ITV programming to 3e over the last year, save for first runs of the soaps on TV3. Instead TV3 have continued to court those soaps including another repeat of The Coronation Street Year, a retrospective on the show.
RTÉ will possibly not be effected by the arrival of UTV Ireland as RTÉ ONE is largely a mainstream channel with a loyal audience, while RTÉ 2 tend to have a younger audience and sports. Unless UTV Ireland win the rights to UFEA Champions League from 2015, RTÉ 2 aren’t to be effected all that much, particularly as it gears up for The World Cup in 2016. Taking a look at the range of channels from RTÉ I don’t see much impact but lack of Drama on both channels will be a challenge for the channel as more and more international companies look to high end home produced dramas. The inability to repeat any Irish drama is also a big issue for fans of Irish Drama, think about it ask any 24 year old if they have heard of or seen Paths to Freedom or Batchelors’ Walk.
Irish TV broadcasters have not future proofed themselves. Over the last 10 years all broadcasters have been put through the mill. In 2006, Irish TV broadcasters had the best year in a decade. 55 per cent of the audience watched some type of TV from an Irish broadcaster. In the 7 years since Irish broadcasters have seen their audience fall to 45 per cent. This doesn’t take into consideration on-demand viewing but it remains a huge drop in terms of audience share, regardless if more people are watching later. The economic downturn is a possible reason for the fall of, but at the end of the day this excuse is used far too much
No matter what the official view from the Oireachtas the public will pay for its service to broadcast on Saorview, the national free to air digital platform in Ireland. Saorview was launched in 2011 and since then OTV has remained off the service due to a dispute between the Houses of the Oireachtas and RTÉ's transmissions company, 2RN. 2RN is the company behind Ireland's broadcast infrastructure, it provides services for RTÉ, TV3, TG4 and Communicorp. It is expected that UTV Ireland will also be available on 2RN's Saorview platform. But the issue of cost has hampered much of Saorview’s development. 2RN sets the value of broadcasting a Standard Definition channel on the platform at €900,000 per year. The House of the Oireachtas are unwilling to pay this charge as they feel that 2RN is public body and should give them free passage on the public’s distribution network.
Oireachtas TV has lauched on pay platform Sky. In the dail the Minsiter for Communications, Alex White T.D., stated Sections 125 and 126 of the Broadcasting Act 2009 make the necessary provision to allow for the development of an Oireachtas TV channel to be known as the “Houses of the Oireachtas Channel” on the SAORVIEW TV network. The legislation provides that the channel should be established by the Commission of the Houses of the Oireachtas and that the oversight of the channel should be the responsibility of the Joint Administration Committee, which is a joint committee of the Houses of the Oireachtas.
Sound and Vision funding is in its second iteration and the BAI have given out €5.2 million in funding in round 21. The funding comes from the Television Licence Fee. TV3's new soap, Red Rock, has been awarded €800,000 for 18 percent of its production costs consisting of 104 episodes, while new TV channel UTV Ireland has been given funding for a drama called Pilgrimage and a two part documentary series, hinting at its addition to the Saorview platform.
RTÉ 2 launch their Autumn/Winter Schedule in Dublin on Thursday. A new look for the service was also launch, this is the 7th rebranding of the service since its inception in 1978. RTÉ 2's aim is to be the voice of young Ireland aiming its commissions at the 15 to 35 year old age group. Reality, Lifestyle, OnDemand and Comedy are core to the new season on RTÉ 2.
By in large TV3's new 2014/2015 schedule has been well outline, in many different publications. An hour of Xposé with a new host, Anton Savage moving from Ireland AM, the arrival of a new Irish soap titled Red Rock, new entertainment programmes The Algorithm, Blind Date and Sitting on a Fortune. That there would be new faces and new talent. The gala affair at the Mansion House in Dublin only just confirmed what has large been anticipated. Just don’t mention the final 3 months of some programmes moving to “them over across the border”. In fairness to TV3 their launch is to be admired, for years Ireland has been calling on some new competition.
TG4 have announced their programmes for 2014 and 2015. TG4's strong eye for Documentary and original drama (both home and abroad) are captured throughout the new season. Documentary’s include Torthaí na Daoirse, which recounts the strike by Dunnes Stores workers in Dublin against Apartheid in South Africa. Corp 's Anam returns for a second series of the successful crime drama series.
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland have announced that they have entered into contract negotiations with Satellite TV provider Teilifís Mhaigh Eo Teoranta the owners of Irish TV. The service is currently available on the Showcase channel on Sky and Free-to-air satellite. The programming is largely aimed at county-by-county events with their events show "County Matters". Irish TV have been actively working to promote the channel. The channel is aimed at the Irish diaspora around the world. The channel also includes many country and western music programmes.
On Tuesday (20/05/2014) the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) announced funding given to producers for the production of TV, Film and Radio through the Sound and Vision Fund. The Sound and Vision Fund comes from the TV licence fee and is diverted from RTÉ to support a range of public service broadcasting across community, local, commercial and national broadcast services.
The Minister for Communication, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, T.D., is expected to block RTÉ's plans to move their RTÉjr strand from RTÉ Two according to The Sunday Times. A report into the planed move was announced in April 2013 when TV3 objected to the move. The BAI submitted this report to the Minister in July 2013, in November 2013 in the Dail Minister Rabbitte said he expected to be able to make a decision shortly, he restated in the Dail that he would be make a decision shortly in Feburary 2014. The Broadcasting Authority Of Ireland stated that they were unaware of the move during the recent Five-year Review of Public funding, however the review took place during 2013 and was published some months after RTÉ's request.
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has entered negotiations with UTV Ireland, with it to begin broadcasting in 2015. The licence will come under Section 71 of the Broadcasting Act 2009, unlike TV3, RTÉ and TG4, the new service from UTV does not have the same additional requirements for content and it also pays a different type of levy to the BAI. The BAI will now enter into contract negotiations with UTV Ireland Limited.
A report by Oliver & Ohlbaum puts the final nail into the coffin of Irish Broadcasting as its findings have been published by the BAI. The report was commissioned by the BAI after the failed 2008 Commerical Digital Terrestrial TV licensing round, which saw big players Communicorp, UPC, RTÉ, TV3 and Eircom all pull out of negotiations with RTÉ's 2RN. The report was formally given to the BAI in August 2013 and has just been published today. Saorview was launched in 2011 with a tiny number of channels in comparison to its European counterparts.
TV3's 2013 was up and down. Financial pressures increased during the year with the decision by the government to sell on TV3's loan book as part of the liquidation of IRBC (formally Anglo Irish Bank) and the continued dip in advertising revenue through out the year. In November the announcement that many of TV3's top shows would move to UTV in early 2015 was a surprise blow to the channel. Since that announcement TV3 have been able to hold on to some of its top shows, including Downton Abbey and The X Factor. TV3 then announced that its owners Doughty Hanson (DH) had bought back their loan book from the government at a discount, preventing such loans ending up as part of NAMA.
The BAI have issued a statement today, 2nd January 2014, outline their achievements in 2013. 2013 was the first full year without analogue television and the development of HD television services. Radio licences were re-advertised. The biggest television news story of the year was the entry of UTV into the television marketplace.
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has issued just under €4.5million to new Irish TV and Radio programmes. The Sound and Vision Fund is supported through the Television Licence Fee. 88 new radio projects and 21 TV projects were awarded funding out of 287 applications, with applications coming from 16 different genre/format categories. In total the TV projects will receive just under €4million, while radio project will receive just over €500,000.
The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR) have announced that it is to fund a new capital project for TG4. The project was launched by the Minister (Pat Rabbitte, T.D.) at TG4 Headquarters in Baile na hAbhann. The project receive €690,000 from DCENR. The Minister met with the board of TG4 and visited the state of the art studios in the Gaeltach region of Co. Galway.
Equity firm Doughty Hanson has bought TV3 outstanding debt from Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC). Doughty Hanson are major investors in TV3's parent company Tullamore Beta. The Debt was part of the IRBC's special liquidation. The majority of Doughty Hanson's bid was financed by BlueBay Ireland.TV3's debt was part of the sale of IBRC's assets by KPMG in an open auction process. According to TV3 the new lending facilities are long term and at commercial rates.
TG4 and Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh (NUIG) are looking for members of the public to join a new Viewer Panel (Painéal Lucht Féachana) for TG4. The Panel's aim is to capture the viewing habits and preferences of Irish Speakers (Phobal na Gaeilge). Membership of the panel is aimed at Irish speakers through out the country (ar fud na tíre). The researchers are looking for fluent Irish speakers over the age of 15 (15 bliana d’aois nó os a chionn) to take part in The Panel.
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland will meet with the public, producers and broadcasters about broadcasting standards in an open forum on Thursday December 12, 2013. The event will be held at the Smock Alley Theatre from 9:30am to 1pm, in Dublin City. With a live web broadcast of the event .
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland have announced the closing dates for the Sound and Vision fund 2014. The BAI award the fund from 7% of the TV licence fee. Generally independent producers apply for funding, though broadcasters can directly apply for funding from the scheme. In 2014 there will be 3 rounds. The first and last rounds will be open to submission from all types of programming for Radio and TV, while the second round will target Animation and Education.