Virgin Media to buy TV3
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.
The Irish broadcasting industry has being suffering due to increased competition from International Broadcasters and the increased numbers of online services. Over the last 9 months viewers to Irish TV channels has seen significant drops with just 43% of the audience tuning to Irish TV services in August (RTÉ ONE, RTÉ2, TV3, TG4, UTV IRELAND, RTÉ ONE +1, Setanta and RTÉjr). 57% of Irish viewers choose international TV services such as Sky, BBC and Channel 4 for the majority of their viewing services.
TV3 has suffered significant losses due to the acquisition of ITV programming rights by UTV Ireland in 2015. Though slightly on the re-bound due to the Rugby World Cup, X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent. Some of its home produced programmes have failed to meet audience expectations with just 45,000 viewers tuning into their evening chat show The Seven O’Clock Show.
With the arrival of Virgin Media Ireland on October 5th can the new owners bring the “magic” back to TV3.