TV3 Does Battle
TV3 announced changes today at an event in the Shelbourne Hotel. TV3 have a fight on their hands, with just 8 months before UTV Ireland arrives TV3 announced some of their plans for the 2014 and 2015 seasons, bring them into 2016. TV3 announced their full summer schedule, which includes The Great Irish Bake Off, while insisting that TV3 aren't just another opt-out service. TV3 expect to double their factual programming output. With production of their first soap after 18 years on the air to start in October.
In terms of Sport TV3 had already announced that it is to broadcast all 48 games of the Rugby World Cup. Matt Copper is set to be their main host for the event.
TV3 will continue to show UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues until June 2015, and will have a battle on their hands to hold on to those games into 2016, as newcomer BT Sports maybe in contention to win those rights.
TV3 will launch two major entertainment co-productions; Sitting on a Fortune and Algorithm. Quizshow The Lie will also return. TV3 has bought the rights to create an Irish version of Channel 4’s Gogglebox.
TV3 also announced the working title to their soap opera. Red Rock will the first Irish soap to launch since Ros Na Run in 1996. Set in a Garda station in a harbour town the soap is to commence production in October 2014 and to begin broadcasting in January 2015. It is due to air two nights a week.
Big weekend programmes like X-Factor and BTG are to remain on the channel. With announcements that TV3 had made other major deals with international distributers. Downton Abbey, Crisis and Undateable will air on TV3. With major movie acquisitions such as Rise of the Planets of the Apes and X-Men: First Class, The Simpsons Movie, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian and Ice Age: The meltdown
TV3 also launched some new faces.... well not that new. Comedian Jason Byrne will return to TV screens with a new chat show. Economist David McWilliams will also return to TV, he had been part of TV3's original launch in 1998 with Agenda. Donal McIntyre also return with another series of Donal McIntyre Investigates. Simon Lamont will star in The Lazy Chef, we don't know who he is so we guess he’s a new face, 1 new face out of 4 isn't bad.
What has TV3 done in the last 5 months to hold on to viewers? Advertisers may have been impressed had TV3 fought to increase their audience share over the last few months, but TV3 only just retain its audience share. TV3 have a 10% share of the audience with 3e on about 2%, holding on to their 2013 audience. TV advertising was up for the group with online advertising up 60% year on year.
Advertisers have already point to major gaps in TV3's year.
TV3 gain audiences during X-Factor, this is helped with their audience for other ITV programmes such as Coronation Street, however come the week after X-factor TV3's audience drops dramatically. TV3 can see a steady increase in audience from the start of X-Factor, with a 17% share of the audience in its final week, the following week TV3 can fall back down to 10%.
This doesn't bode well for TV3 when you consider that in January 2015 neither Coronation Street nor X-Factor will be on the air, Christmas week 2013 saw TV3 drop below 7% for the first time in 14 years.
Since January TV3 haven't pull out the stops to increase audience levels. TV3 retained audiences but for TV3 to retain a 10% in 2015 they will need to increase their audience share in 2014, something they haven't been able to do and perhaps something they have ignored.
The Lie, Crossfire, Keith Barry, along with some BAI funded programmes have help retain viewers but overall the figures are stagnating. This isn't help by TV3's prime time showing of 7 year old episodes of DIY SOS and Boozy Brits Abroad.