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TV3 (Ireland)

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Title: TV3 (Ireland)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Midweek (Irish TV series), Karen Koster, The X Factor (UK TV series), TV3 News, The Dunphy Show
Collection: Television Channels and Stations Established in 1998, Tv3 (Ireland)
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TV3 (Ireland)

TV3's modified logo, enacted in 2009.
Launched 20 September 1998
Owned by TV3 Group
Picture format 576i (16:9 and 4:3) (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)
Audience share 12.9% (31 December 2010, [4])
Slogan We Entertain
Country Ireland
Sister channel(s) 3e
Timeshift service TV3 +1
Saorview Channel 3
Sky Ireland Channel 103 (SD/HD)
Channel 117 (+1)
Channel 273 (HD)
Virgin Media Ireland Channel 103
Channel 119 (+1)
Channel 150 (HD)
eir TV Channel 103
Streaming media
Horizon Go by Virgin Media Watch live (Ireland only)

TV3 is a commercial free-to-air television network operated within Ireland. The channel is owned by Tullamore Beta Ltd., a subsidiary of Doughty Hanson & Co. The channel launched on 20 September 1998 becoming the country's first commercial broadcaster.


  • History 1
  • TV3 +1 2
  • TV3 HD 3
  • Broadcasting policy 4
    • Budget 4.1
    • Product placement 4.2
  • Irish-produced programming 5
    • News and current affairs 5.1
    • Sports programming 5.2
    • Daytime programming 5.3
    • Reality and entertainment programming 5.4
      • 1998–2001 5.4.1
      • 2002–2006 5.4.2
      • 2007–2014 5.4.3
      • 2014–present 5.4.4
    • Drama 5.5
      • Soap opera 5.5.1
    • Youth and music programming 5.6
    • Factual programming 5.7
    • Lifestyle 5.8
    • Imported programming 5.9
      • Soaps 1998–2014 5.9.1
        • Daytime
        • Prime time
      • 1998–2001 5.9.2
      • 2001–2006 5.9.3
      • 2006–2009 5.9.4
      • 2009–2014 5.9.5
      • 2015–present 5.9.6
        • TV3's views on RTÉ imports
  • On-air presentation 6
    • Continuity announcers 6.1
  • Controversies 7
    • Lack of original programming 7.1
    • Play TV and Brainbox 7.2
    • Health of Brian Lenihan 7.3
    • Psychic Readings Live 7.4
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


Logo in 1989 at the IRTC announcement of a third channel.

TV3 was intended to be Ireland's third terrestrial channel. In October 1988 the Independent Radio and Television Commission (IRTC) was created to regulate new independent stations. The original TV3 licence to broadcast was granted in 1990 to the consortium Tullamore Beta Ltd (some of this consortium made up of Windmill Lane Productions and Paul McGuinness [manager of U2]). It was envisaged that the channel would broadcast on cable and MMDS, but it was later decided that the channel should broadcast on terrestrial television similar to other Irish channels.

IRTC revoked the broadcasting licence due to delays in broadcasting the channel. After a court battle the licence was eventually restored in 1993. By 1993 an agreement was made to sell 49 per cent of the company to UTV, to raise much-needed cash for investment in facilities. UTV pulled out of negotiations in 1995, after TV3 tried to convince existing MMDS and cable television providers to drop UTV and replace it with TV3. Due to the success of UTV with audiences within the Republic of Ireland many cable television carriers declined.

In 1997, Canadian communications company Canwest bought a major stake in the new company. In 2001, Granada purchased a 45% share in the company.In 2006 the group was purchased by Doughty Hanson & Co.

In 2015, Liberty Global confirmed it planned to purchase the TV3 Group, approval to purchase the broadcaster was given on October 2, 2015 by the CCPC[1][2]

TV3 +1

A timeshift channel TV3 +1 launched on 2 December 2014 on UPC Ireland.[3][4] The channel was added to Sky Ireland on 8 April 2015.[5]

However, the channel is unavailable to viewers on Saorview, as TV3 are in dispute with its operator 2RN (formerly a subsidiary of RTÉ).[6]


TV3 HD is a high definition version of TV3, both domestic and imported programming is available in HD, mainly sporting content. TV3 HD launched on Virgin Media Ireland and Sky Ireland on 11 August 2015.[7][8] It is anticipated TV3 will utilize its existing TV3 Sony HD studios in Ballymount where a number of their shows already broadcast from such as Ireland:AM, Xposé, Tonight with Vincent Browne and TV3 News. The service is currently unavailable on Saorview.

Broadcasting policy

TV3 broadcasts a wide range of programming which in its early years depended heavily on international acquisitions. In 2008, the TV3 Group produced a three-year strategy to increase the amount of homegrown productions on the channel. Under their contract with the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI), TV3 are required since 2008 to have 30% of their programming coming from Ireland though TV3 now produces 40% Irish produced content (Most of this content comes from in studio productions such as Ireland AM and Xposé). In 2010 TV3 announced a target of 50% Irish programming by 2012. TV3 has also confirmed its plan to build a major new studio in 2011 which will be fully HD capable with audience capacity.[9]

They have a small staff of 200 employees to run two television channels and one on-demand online service. On average, TV3 spend about €10 million on internal productions which are generally for daytime viewers. They do not have a history of strong prime-time content: generally their home produced programmes consist of at least one independently produced programme, e.g. The Apprentice, a number of internal documentaries such as Ireland Undercover and a number of BCI licence fee-funded independent products such as School Run,Diary of... andModern Ireland.

As of October 2009, TV3 claim they are the most watched television channel by people aged 15–24 years old. This group was previously captured by RTÉ One.[10] This is an important group to capture as it is often these viewers whom advertisers wish to target.[11] In reaction to this press release from TV3, RTÉ rebutted their claims stating that RTÉ One outdoes TV3 in far more demographic categories and that TV3's press release, "In terms of the selective audiences focussed upon by TV3 in their release, it's clear this is a recent phenomenon and only pertains to a narrow sub-demographic of young viewers in this country. By contrast, the year-to-date equivalent (1 January – 20 October), all day national share, sees RTÉ One with a 16.2% share of the 15-24s; TV3 with a 13.3% share."[12]


In 2009 TV3 had revenues of €54,300,000.[13] In the previous year (2008), TV3 received €62 million in advertising revenue. Increases in programme cost during 2008 included new sporting contracts with the GAA and UEFA, the first renewal of their contract with the British broadcaster ITV for shows such as The X Factor and Coronation Street, a small but significant increase in programmes commissioned from independent producers . They also increased their investment in online technology, with their online service earning a profit for the first time.

In 2008, TV3 received €3 million in funding from the licence fee for independent productions on the channel.

In 2009, two rounds of redundancies reduced TV3 staff to 213 people. Staff savings have been augmented by agreed reductions in wages. The 200 staff working in TV3 now provide seven hours of live television five days a week, an increase of two hours and a staff reduction of 50 since 2007.

In February 2012 the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) restructure TV3's outstanding loans to the bank. The owners of TV3, Doherty Hanson & Co., have loans of €140million with the bank. €51million will continue to be repaid over the next 5 years, while €81.1 will be frozen until a "liquidity event", according to the IBRC this is in the event of a sale of TV3.[14]

Product placement

Product placement within Irish produced programming had previously been banned by broadcasting authorities in Ireland, though in the past Irish viewers have been used to product placement as seen on US television and film productions. Due to an EU ruling made in 2007, Irish broadcasters can now place products within programming mainly entertainment shows, though excludes programming which is deemed mainly 'news and current affairs' and programming aimed at children. On 15 August 2011 it was confirmed that TV3 would become the first official broadcaster to implement the new broadcasting terms. Kenco[15] reportedly paid TV3 Group a six-figure sum[16] to place their branding on two key early morning television shows mainly, The Morning Show and Midday from September 2011. Similar to RTÉ and TG4 broadcasters will have to air a logo 'PP' at the beginning and end of the show to inform viewers that products will appear on the show. RTÉ Television has previously used Product Placement on its series The Late Late Show.

Irish-produced programming

TV3 programming has often been criticised for having no "distinctive, clearly Irish identity".[17] In spring 2008, a major effort was made by the station to change this situation. In general TV3 spend around €10 million on their Irish productions each year, in 2008 they significantly increased the number of prime time shows produced in Ireland. Under current broadcasting legislation TV3 are required to use 15% of its total Irish production budget for Independent Productions. Since 2004 Independent Productions for TV3 have been able to avail of the BAI's Sound and Vision Fund, a fund provided to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) from the Licence Fee. In 2008 Independent producers received €3million from the Sound and Vision fund for programming that they produced for TV3.

News and current affairs

TV3 News provides news on a number of different platforms. Daily updates run on the channel each weekday with TV3 News bulletins on the hour and half-hour from 07:00 until 10:00. TV3 News also provided a lunchtime update with 'The 12:30'update and the afternoon update 'The 5:30' both hosted by the current main news anchor Colette Fitzpatrick. TV3 News also introduced a new prime time news bulletin at 20:00, News at 08:00. Late night news is provided by Tonight with Vincent Browne which airs Monday to Thursday at 23:00 since 2008.

TV3 News updates are also available online through, video-on-demand through Virgin Media On-demand and through 3Player available online, on mobile and on tablet.

It is an affiliate of CNN.[18]

Sports programming

From its infancy TV3 aired a live sporting programme called Sports Tonight (1998 - 2009) hosted by Trevor Welsh. The show would air weeknights from 23:30, until its controversial cancellation on 23 March 2009.[19]

TV3 currently holds the Irish broadcasting rights to UEFA Champions League on Tuesday nights, while RTÉ 2 covers Wednesday nights and the final exclusively live.[20] which includes in-vision sporting commentary and analysis by TV3 Sport presenters and crew. TV3 previously held exclusive Irish rights from 2001-2004 they then lost these to RTÉ but since 2009 have shared rights with RTÉ and will continue to have these right until 2018. TV3 also held rights to the UEFA Europa League matches on Thursday nights until 2015.

A milestone in TV3 broadcasting history came with coverage of the 2011 UEFA Europa League Final, held at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Forty cameras were used to broadcast to an audience in the tens of millions across the world.[21]

In 2015 they began airing the FA Cup Final live. The coverage was presented by Tommy Martin alongside Paul McShane and Brian Kerr with commentary by Dave McIntyre and Kevin Kilbane.

At its launch TV3 secured rights to number of Republic of Ireland exhibition matches. It joined forces with Sky to provide deferred coverage of World Cup Qualifying games along with a programme dedicated to League of Ireland games, The Soccer Show and live coverage of League of Ireland games. Later those games moved to RTÉ after the government chose to put those games on a live free-to-air footing. TV3 aired some coverage of the 2007 Rugby World Cup.[22]

From 2008 to 2013 TV3 secured broadcasting rights for a selection of GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship and All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship matches as part of Championship Live. In 2008, the station began broadcasting a selection of live matches, as well as a weekly preview show called Championship Throw In.[23] TV3 lost these rights in 2014 to Sky Sports.[24] Days after the loss of Gaelic games Championship rights in 2014, the station secured live free to air coverage of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.[25][26]

TV3 are currently broadcasting all 48 matches in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The coverage has been met with significant criticism due to the high number of ad breaks and their positioning throughout the coverage. TV3's commentators have also shown a lack of knowledge of the game, often commenting that the game has gone into 'Injury Time' after the clock has passed 80 minutes, amongst others.

UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League coverage also returns this year to TV3 and 3e, and 3e will continue to UFC matches.[27]

Daytime programming

TV3's daytime TV takes up the majority of its home produced programming. TV3 have stated that 40% of its total output is of Irish origin 10% more than their requirement under their broadcast licence with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. Together Ireland AM, Midday, The 12:30, Xposé and The 5:30 make up 30 hours of television each week.

TV3's first daytime produced programme was Speakeasy[28] produced by Fastnet for TV3. The series focused on topical issues affecting people in Ireland ranging from divorce, sex, crime, multiculturalism, poverty, sexuality and other topics were discussed amongst the presenter and a panel of guests. The show ran for one year from 1998 to 1999.

TV3 created a new morning news talk show, Ireland AM, launched in September 1999. It became Ireland's first televised breakfast show. The show airs every weekday morning from 07:00 until 10:00 featuring a broad range of topics such as news, show business, daily newspapers, current affairs, technology, cooking, animal welfare, social issues, fashion, beauty, health, interviews, traffic reports, weather, sport, movies and music. Ireland AM's presenting team include Sinead Desmond, Mark Cagney, Anna Daly, Aidan Cooney and Alan Hughes.

Originally Ireland AM broadcast for two hours each morning, it now broadcasts for 3 hours. In 2013 45 minutes extra were added to the show with the first hour hosted by Anton Savage as a current affairs programme, in 2014 TV3 drop the extra 45 minutes and the first hour of Current Affairs.[29]

In 2008, TV3 launched a female skewed programme similar to The View called Midday. Midday broadcasts from 11:30 until 12:30; the show is presented by Elaine Crowley and is joined on occasion by Sybil Mulcahy in front of a live studio audience.

In 2009, TV3 launched a new topical show called The Morning Show with Sybil & Martin. In August 2013, TV3 confirmed that The Morning Show had been axed from the new autumn schedule after weeks of speculation. TV3 will introduce a new lunchtime news bulletin at 12:45 hosted by Colette Fitzpatrick.[29]

In 2013 Late Lunch Live started broadcasting Monday to Friday at 14:30 the show is hosted by Lucy Kennedy and Martin King. In February 2015 this show was replaced by The Seven O'Clock Show.

In 2014 their afternoon news at 12:45 was rebrand as The 12:30 and now runs for 30 minutes Monday to Friday. In June 2015, TV3 Group confirmed it would extend its Ireland AM format into the weekends. From August 2015, TV3 began to broadcast Saturday AM and Sunday AM live providing up to 6 hours live content on the weekends.[30]

Reality and entertainment programming


The channels first attempt at a travel show came in the guise of Messrs Tylak and Rooney in which Joe Rooney and Paul Tykla traveled around Ireland's tourist spots. In 2000, TV3 commissioned the dating game Perfect Match hosted by Twink (Adele King), this show only aired for one season.

From 2001 TV3 began to produce Irish versions of hit international television shows including The Weakest Link hosted by Eamon Dunphy.

Other entertainment shows included a film show title Take 3.


In May 2002, Haunted House started out with about 26 contestants who would be ultimately voted out of the Haunted House by the public. The tasks were similar to that of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!.[31]

In 2003, TV3 launched the ill-fated The Dunphy Show presented by Eamon Dunphy, it was built up to be a contender with RTÉ One's The Late Late Show.

TV3 also launched a weekly movie review show called Popcorn.

In 2005, TV3 made a second attempt at launching another late night talk show every Wednesday at 22:00 hosted by Brendan Courtney called The Brendan Courtney Show, this show was somewhat successful a ran for two seasons.

In the same year the channel launched a property based show hosted by Richard Eberle and Maura Derrane called The Property Game. Similar to other European broadcasters TV3 began to produce its own reality based TV series.

In 2006 reality TV3 produced their second reality TV series. The Box, fronted by Keith Duffy, debuted on Monday 9 October 2006.[32]


From 2007 TV3 continued its commitment to increase its Irish entertainment output. In April 2007, the channel launched female skewed news entertainment show Xposé airing week nights at 18:00. An Irish version of Deal or No Deal ran for one season in association with the Irish National Lottery was launched in 2009. It was produced by Endemol for TV3.[33]

As part of the autumn-winter schedule in 2008, TV3 aired the Irish version of the internationally successful The Apprentice'. This show proved to be very successful for TV3. The series aired on the channel between 2008 and 2012. It also led to spin-off shows called The Apprentice: You're Fired! and The Apprentice: At Home.

In 2009 entertainment news anchor Lorraine Keane left Xposé, this resulted in a reality TV show called Total Xposure which focused on a nation-wide search for a new presenter.

TV3 began to air an Irish version of the international dating show Take Me Out from 2010,[34] the show has proved successful and continues to air on the channel regularly. The series is presenter by radio DJ Ray Foley.

In 2011, Adele King was expected to host an agony aunt talkshow Give Adele a Bell this has not aired on TV3. Alan Hughes Family Fortunes aired on the channel in 2011 along with an Irish version of Mastermind.[35]

On 7 June 2010 TV3 introduced Celebrity Salon each season focuses on six celebrities who have to complete daily tasks in relation to the beauty industry.[36] Previous series have seen the likes of (Breffny Morgan) take part in the show.

In the same month TV3 also introduced Style Wars a search for Ireland's top fashion designer in a similar format to Project Runway.[37]

The same year they produced a localized version of the BBC Three series Young, Dumb and Living Off Mum.

In 8 April 2011 TV3 produced a reality show based on cooking entitled Head Chef. Due to its success a celebrity version Celebrity Head Chef and youth orientated show Junior Head Chef were also introduced.[38]

TV3 began to produce an Irish version of Come Dine With Me produced by ITV for TV3 Group [39] the series continues to air on the channel along with airing on international channels such as Channel 4.

Following the success of MTV's scripted reality shows such as Jersey Shore, TV3 introduced its equivalent with the launch of Tallafornia in 2011. The show proved to be successful for the channel a number of spin-off shows followed and aired on sister channel 3e. A new reality TV series was introduced Dublin Wives (previously Dublin Housewives).

In 2013 new shows were introduced to the schedule including The Great Irish Bake Off and an Irish version of Celebrity Apprentice. Keith Barry hosts a second show for TV3 called Brain Hacker. They also confirmed new game shows such as Pressure Point and Can’t Move? Improve! and Save Your Money.


TV3 announced a number of new entertainment series for the next two years. An Irish version of the successful Channel 4 series Gogglebox. In August 2014, Ireland AM moved to the TV3 Sony HD Studios.

As part of an overhaul of TV3 confirmed it stated it would launch a new lifestyle show airing each weekday night from early 2015, the show was title 'Life' however in a change of plans TV3 opted for a weekly Friday night series for a six-week run, with The Seven O'Clock Show replacing Late Lunch Live. Xposé 60 minutes each weekday night from 18:00 as of 8 September 2014 (An increase of 30 minutes). It was also announced that Lucy Kennedy would present the Irish version of Blind Date, in mid-2015 TV3 drop those plans.

Home produced game shows will play an important part of the new schedule which includes: Sitting On A Fortune,[40] Keith Barry: Brain Hacker, The Lie, The Algorithm with Ray Foley, and Jason Byrne’s Snaptastic Show.


TV3 are not known for their drama. TV3 have commissioned a number of short and feature films with both the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and the Irish Film Board. In 2004 they co-produced RTÉ Two's ill-fated 20 some-things drama The Big Bow Wow.[41]

Since 2006 TV3 have looked towards home produced drama with the likes of Laura Windermere's Bag and Deception. They also took a look a two other drama serials The Guards and a revival of RTÉ's The Clinic however neither came to fruition.

In 2008, TV3 began to introduce its own homegrown produced drama series, the first being the one-off drama School Run. The drama was based on a school and was co-financed by TV3 and Broadcasting Authority of Ireland's Sound and Vision Fund it debuted in December 2008. In 2009, TV3 produced Laura Windermere's Bag a contemporary adaptation of the Oscar Wilde play Lady Windermere's Fan set on the south of Dublin.

TV3 would later produce The Guards[42] starring EmmeTt J. Scanlan, promoting it as an Irish version of The Wire[43] it was scheduled to broadcast in summer 2010. When production began two episodes were produced and later an additional four episodes were added to the series. Despite promotion around the series, the programme never aired on TV3.

In 2011, TV3 broadcast RTL's Jack Taylor series.[44] In 2012 TV3 and ITV co-produced Titantic with funding from the BAI.[35] In 2013, TV3 premiered a new Irish drama Taylor Hill,[45] the show was later aired as 'Deception' which received mixed reviews.[46] As part of its 2012 autumn-winter season TV3 announced it was to air its first comedy show which follow three couples embarking on couples counselling in On the Couch, this show aired in early 2013.[47]

TV3 will broadcast the film adaptation of the play The Guarantee, which explores the Irish Banking collapse in the late 2000s.

Soap opera

In late 2009, following the cancellation of RTÉ's critically acclaimed medical drama series The Clinic[48] TV3 speculated at reviving the show as a soap rather than a serial. TV3 later confirmed it would not seek to revive the show.

TV3 tendered for a production company to produce a new weekly soap for the channel. It is anticipated the show will air from early 2015.[49] UK production houses Lime Productions (Hollyoaks) and Zodiak Media (Being Human) along with Irish production houses Element Pictures (Pure Mule) and Parallel Films (The Clinic) are among 16 tenders brought to TV3 for the new soap.[50] According The Sunday Times, 2 March 2014, TV3 have sent a letter of intent to Element Pictures and Company Pictures to produce the new soap. Filming is to begin in the summer of 2014 and it is expect to being airing at the begin of 2015. It will air twice a week on the channel.[51]

The title of TV3's soap is Red Rock it began filming in October 2014 and began airing in January 2015. It airs two nights a week, it is set in a small fishing village in Dublin. The series is part funded through the licence fee by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland fund it for up to 18% of costs.[52] The series will cost about €4.4million to produce for 104 episodes. The series takes a break during the summer months.

Youth and music programming

Youth programming
When it launched TV3 aired a strand of programming called Gimme 3, targeting 6-12 year olds between 16:00 to 17:00 and every Sunday from 07:30 to 10:00. It was presented by Hector Ó hEochagáin and Clodagh Freeman. The strand aired programming such as The Ren and Stimpy Show, Conan the Adventurer, Conan and the Young Warriors, Hot Rod Dogs, Loggerheads, Salty's Lighthouse and Brothers Flub. Gimme 3 was cancelled in 1999, but cartoons remained on the channel every weekend morning until 2003.

On Saturday mornings the channel aired teenage skewed programming between 08:00 to 11:00, airing shows such as The Adventures of Pete & Pete, City Guys, One World, Malibu,CA and USA High. Exam Countdown, presented by Ray D'Arcy, in 2001 was shown for 4 weeks at 10:30am on Saturday and Sunday, as it led up to the Leaving Certificate Exams.

On Bank Holidays and during the December holiday period, TV3 regularly airs films targeting kids and families. In press reports TV3 are expected to launch a children's channel called 3Kids as part of its digital channels which were expected to launch in 2013. As of August 2013, TV3 have failed to announce a launch date for the channel at its autumn 2013 press call.

In 1998, TV3 aired its own version of the pan-European chart music show 'Pepsi Chart Show' which featured live performances from the Top 40 singles chart. It was broadcast mainly in London and was hosted by Sarah O'Flaherty.[53] Every Saturday morning at 10:00 (and Thursday at midnight), TV3 aired a music video show hosted by Darragh Purcell called 'Pop on 3' which had a broad music policy. This was later replaced by The Sound Room also hosted by Darragh Purcell.[54] In 2001, Dynamite TV aired on Sunday afternoons at 17:00, with repeats on Saturday mornings at 11:00. This show had no presenter or voice-overs, just providing text on screen to go along with the music videos which were mainly songs from the Top 40 at the time.

In 2003 similar to Video Hits on Australian television, TV3 aired a music video show called Music3 (pronounced as Music Cubed) where viewers selected their favourite music videos from a list shown on 3Text and occasionally on screen. The show aired every night between 01:00 to 04:00 and running from July to December. Viewers were invited to send text messages to the show and to send in requests via a premium rate phone number.

Factual programming

In early 2008, TV3 made a commitment to producing factual programming. The first major documentary was Me and The Big C, charting different people's struggle with cancer; Inside and Out, a makeover show hosted by Sinead O' Carroll; Dirty Money: The Story of the Criminal Assets Bureau, a crime documentary fronted by Paul Williams and Diary of... which followed six people as they went through life-changing events.

The autumn 2008 schedule continued this trend, with several Irish produced series including Now Then: How the Irish Have Sex, CCTV Cities with Donal MacIntyre, Living With Murder, presented by Maura Derrane, and Corrupt – examining corruption in Ireland. Crunch Time was a three part documentary exploring Ireland's property crisis.

Many of TV3's factual programming is produced with the assistance of the licence fee through the BCI's Sound and Vision Fund or are produced in house by TV3's News and Information Department. The Cosmetic Surgery Show that looks at the world of cosmetic surgery presented by Dr. 90210 and Caroline Morahan was broadcast in 2009. TV3 introduced Paul Connolly Investigates a series of investigative journalist documentaries which focus on crime and deviance in Ireland.

TV3 announced a raft of TV documentaries in 2011 including The Irish of 9/11, The Hospice, Paul Connolly Investigates, Anatomy of a Car Crash, Challenging God, 24 Hours to Kill, The Day the Germans Bombed Dublin, The Rise and Fall of Fianna Fáil, Sex Lives, Hen Parties, Paddies in Paradise, Strictly Irish Dancing, Ireland's Disco Kids, Dejunk Your Life and Ireland's Top Teens.[35]

In 2012 and 2013 TV3 introduced further factual programming including a Vincent Browne hosted series which questions the validity of God in 21st Century Ireland in Challenging God. New documentary series include The Estate, which looks at life in a low-income neighbourhood, In the Name of the Republic, Michaela: The Search for Justice, Sex and the Gaelteact.[55]

As of 2014 TV3 has a new department Public Affairs & Documentary Unit which will broadcast a weekly investigative series. This took over factual programming from their News and Information Department.


  • Life was a new prime time weekly show set to begin airing in February 2015. TV3 had announced Life as a daily half hour to broadcast at 19:30 Monday to Friday. By early 2015, TV3 confirmed the show would not go ahead originally as planned but would broadcast for a short 6 week run each Friday from 20:00. Life was expected to be hosted by TV3's Aisling O'Loughlin and Sybil Mulcahy, instead Mulcahy took on the presenting role for the 6 week run. As of spring 2015, Mulcahy has confirmed her departure from TV3 taking effect from late summer 2015.
  • TV3 announced in January 2015 that its afternoon show Late Lunch Live would be dropped in favour of The 7 O'Clock Show. The 7 O'Clock Show will air at 19:00 for an hour Monday to Friday on TV3.[56]
  • In June 2015, TV3 confirmed it would launch two new lifestyle shows each weekend from late August, Saturday AM and Sunday AM.

Imported programming

Soaps 1998–2014

Prime time


From the outset TV3 relied heavily on importing programming from other countries. Prior to the channel's launch TV3 signed agreements with big US broadcasters to air first rights of Sex and the City, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, JAG, FX, The Net, South Park and Just Shoot Me!. TV3 has also relied heavily on imports from the UK and Australia. In its early days the channel aired two popular UK dramas Family Affairs (which was broadcast 18 months after Channel 5) and EastEnders (which was broadcast with advertising simultaneously with BBC One), and also the short lived Australian soap Breakers and the US soap Sunset Beach.

Since 1999, TV3 has a long term agreement with Big Ticket Television to broadcast Judge Judy, new episodes air weekdays at 16:30 and 17:00.


In 2000 Granada Television (now ITV) acquired 45% share in TV3. Under an agreement with Granada many of ITV's programming began to simulcast on TV3 from 2001, such as Coronation Street and Emmerdale (both previously aired on RTÉ One), Bad Girls and Footballers' Wives.

TV3 secured a long-term agreement with Harpo Studios from RTÉ Television to hold the Irish broadcasting rights to The Oprah Winfrey Show until it ceased broadcasting.


In 2006, upon ITV selling its share of TV3 to Doughty Hanson, ITV signed a long-term agreement which secured the continued simulcast of key ITV programming such as The Jeremy Kyle Show, The X Factor, Dancing on Ice,I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! and Britain's Got Talent.

Following the cancellation of Family Affairs in June 2007, it was initially replaced by Channel 4's Hollyoaks. Broadcasting the teen soap opera proved very unsuccessful for the channel and it was axed within a month to be replaced by The Royal Today and after the cancellation of The Royal Today by repeats of the US sitcom Friends.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show airs on both TV3 and 3e under a long-term broadcasting agreement with NBC/Warner Brothers Studios. TV3 also hold an agreement with TLC to broadcast selected programming from its daytime schedule.


A number of new shows were added to the TV3 schedule in between 2009 to 2014. TV3 signed a distribution deal with ITV, BBC and Fox.

In 2013, it was announced that TV3 would be losing many of its ITV Studios programming to UTV by early 2015.[57] On 6 November 2013, UTV Media announced its plans to launch a new television channel within the Republic of Ireland by January 2015. UTV Ireland serves audiences within the Republic of Ireland along with its existing Northern Ireland service UTV. As part of this announcement UTV Ireland Ltd confirmed it secured Irish broadcasting rights to key programming from ITV Studios Global Entertainment (including Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Downton Abbey, Jeremy Kyle among other shows). From early 2015, TV3 withdrew such programming from its existing schedule.[58] Upon announcement of the new channel it was welcomed by TV3 Group's CEO David McRedmond, saying he welcomed the opportunity to reinvest funds previously spent on ITV programming and investing more home grown independent productions.[59]


TV3 continue to hold a number of rights to ITV programming not produced or distributed by ITV Studios. The X-Factor and Downton Abbey are due to return to TV3 in 2015. TV3 currently air Nothing to Declare at 19:30 Monday to Friday. Broadchurch airs Monday nights at 22:00.

Judge Judy remains on TV3 and has been a main part of their daytime schedule since its inception in 1998. Re-runs of The Jeremy Kyle Show will continue on the channel until 2016. The Tipping Point(game show) is broadcast by the channel.

Late Night TV includes re-runs of Law & Order:SVU which has been part of the TV3 schedule since it began.

Prime time programming includes Tipping Point spin off Tipping Point:Lucky Stars, Off Their Rockers, All Star Family Fortune, The Cube and Australian Drama Wentworth Prison.

TV3 has rights to both the UK edition of The X Factor and Got Talent until 2016 with the opportunity to extend. It also holds rights to airing the US version of Got Talent and The X Factor. TV3 has signed a deal with 20th Century Fox to broadcast its new movie releases.

On 29 November 2014 TV3 Group launched its #NewDawn campaign which is part of its rebrand and new schedule for 2015. The campaign was launched with a 90-second and 60 second TV3 Promo which aired at 19:45 on TV3.[60] An advert promoting their newly produced drama series Red Rock was also revealed.[61]

TV3 announced in May 2015 that they had acquired the rights to air Big Brother UK and Celebrity Big Brother UK. This marks the first time Big Brother has aired in Ireland since the show transferred from Channel 4 to Channel 5 in 2011.

In a special upfront event in June 2015, TV3 confirmed Saturday AM, Sunday AM, The Great Irish Menu and House Rules would make-up some of the channels autumn/winter schedule.[62]

TV3's views on RTÉ imports

TV3 routinely disagree with RTÉ Television's policy of purchasing US, Canadian and Australian imports which RTÉ subsequently broadcasts after midnight with low audience figures. TV3 argue that if made available to them they could air such shows in prime-time slots. In the past such shows as Rookie Blue, Rescue Me, Big Love, United States of Tara, Tangle and The Secret Life of Us have been purchased by RTÉ and aired between 00:00 and 06:00 on RTÉ Two. RTÉ have argued that TV3 have rarely gone after the same types of Imported programming and that such shows perform better than when broadcast in Prime Time on TV3.

On-air presentation


September 1998 – July 2000: The original logo and design for the channel was devised by Dynamo.[63] In the lead-up to the network's launch, TV3's logo was unveiled during promotion ads on RTÉ and TG4. The logo consisted of a redesigned number 3. The upper half of the 3 was separated from the lower half; the two halves came together to form two swooshing arches that would form the 3. There were a number of different idents from September 1998 to July 2000 including 'Bubbles', 'Camera Lenses', 'Robot', 'Umbrella', 'Fan', 'Planets', 'Children's Toy', 'Bumper Cars' and 'Roller-Coaster'. Each of the idents would end with a girl whispering the word 'three' a number of times.[64]

July 2000 – September 2003 In July 2000, TV3 developed new idents. The new idents removed the words 'TVthree' from beneath the stylized 3 logo. The project was directed by Dynamo's creative head of broadcast media, Brian Williams.[65] These were TV3's first idents to feature live action – actors would be seen in the background of the logo doing various day-to-day activities with the 3 logo spinning around to reveal itself. In 2001, some of these idents would have characters from Granada TV programming appear in the background, such as characters from Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Heartbeat.

September 2003 – March 2006: In September 2003, TV3 again launched a new set of idents. Again, this series of idents consisted of live action scenes. The final scene would see a large 'swoosh' effect in the center of the screen with the 3 logo appearing in the centre of the screen. These idents consisted of outdoor activities such as a walk at the beach, children playing football, children playing, people walking over the Ha'penny bridge etc. The presentation package was produced by Bruce Dunlop Associates.[66]


March 2006 – January 2009: In March 2006, TV3 took steps to rebrand, as Channel 6 launched in an attempt to become a competitor in the Irish market. These idents consisted of live action scenes often involving the number 3 such as three drops of water into a river. The 3 logo now moved from just the stylized 3 into three circles with the stylized 3 in the last circle. The presentation package was produced by Cleverality.[67]

January 2009 – August 2009: In January 2009, TV3 unveiled its new station logo – a simple sans-serif number 3 similar in style to that of TV3 (Viasat)'s logo. This revamp coincided with the launch of 3E. Officially, the TV3 logo is that of a box with a 3 cut out of the right hand side – this design is used on all news programmes. However, the idents consisted of a set of simple graphical 3s in a domino effect with different colours such as grey, purple and blue. The idents were produced by Image Now.


August 2009 – August 2011: Between August 2009 and February 2009 TV3 introduced 8 new idents. The first two idents – known as 'Orchard' and 'Elevator' – launched TV3's live action idents. In September, a third ident entitled 'Wave' was added, followed in October by a fourth ident known as 'Bridge'. A edited version of the Bridge ident (to promote the series V), a sixth new ident known as 'Dog' was introduced in November 2009 and in December 2009 the ident 'snowman' was added and in February 2010 the 8th ident was added, 'bubbles'. TV3 has been working with Image Now to create these idents.

August 2011 – January 2015: On Monday, 22 August 2011, TV3 revealed a new on-air look. While utilising its existing logo, TV3 revealed new idents which are CGI in design and are based around specific themes i.e. crime, urban, entertainment. The new look idents were designed by Image Now, who have previously worked on the channel's branding since 2009.[68]

January 2015 – Present: On Monday, 5 January 2015, TV3 revealed a new on-air look to coincide with its new programming. Originally the new idents consisted of only two idents, gradually TV3 added additional idents featuring TV3 presenters. One of the original idents features a neon TV3 logo in a purple room and the second ident features a scene from their new soap 'Redrock'. The slogan We Entertainment features heavily on-air and in promos.

Continuity announcers

TV3's continuity is largely pre-recorded unlike its competitors RTÉ One and UTV Ireland. Tara Loughrey Grant began as a continuity presenter on TV3 in 1999 and was the voice of TV3 until 2005, where she later moved onto radio and then onto Channel 6 (prior to TV3 Group purchasing the channel). She then went onto present RTÉ Ten from 2008 onward and regularly contributes to RTÉ Radio and television.[69]

Conor Clear and Andrea Hayes followed as continuity presenters. In 2008, TV3 introduced in-vision continuity links during the 3 Daytime. Hayes began as a guest on the Midday panelist in summer 2013. She also works on Dublin's Sunshine FM. Clare McKenna is a voice-over artist and has been working for TV3 since 2006.[70] In 2013, McKenna begun a career as television presenting on Ireland AM whilst covering for Anna Daly when she was on her maternity leave. Upon Daly's return McKenna left Ireland AM so she could take up her own maternity leave. McKenna returned to TV3 in late 2014 reprising her role as a voice-over for TV3 promotions.

Invision continuity lasted until the end of 2009.


Lack of original programming

Many media commentators have criticised TV3 for the lack of original programming on the station, although a major effort has been made in 2008 to deal with this criticism. The view of many commentators such as Stephen Price of The Sunday Times and Tom McGurk of The Sunday Business Post is that TV3 need to differentiate themselves in the growing Irish multi-channel market by making more original programming than at present.[71][72][73]

Play TV and Brainbox

Play TV was an interactive phone-in quiz show on TV3: it ran from May 2009 until March 2010.

On 21 September 2009, callers to the Liveline radio show on RTÉ Radio 1 complained about the phone charges and methods surrounding TV3's late night quiz show Play TV. Host Joe Duffy stated that many of his listeners and callers to the show had not got a satisfactory reply from TV3 in relation to their complaints and hence his reason for this section of the his show, and that TV3 was unwilling to be a part of the discussion show having been asked by RTÉ Radio. Some of the contestants had not been paid their prize money. TV3 advised viewers who played the game to go to RegTel with any complaints.

On 25 September 2009, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) met to review 20 complaints made to it by individuals in relation to Play TV; 15 were upheld, 1 was rejected, 1 was determined to be invalid and 2 remained under investigation.

In January 2010, the compliance committee of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland upheld 10 more complaints against TV3. In February the BAI up held 3 more complaints.

On 5 March 2010, TV3 announced that Play TV's contract was terminated immediately. In their statement they put the removal of the "infomercial" down purely to audience figures rather than the complaints received and upheld by the BAI. They did not apologise for their conduct.[74]

At the launch of TV3's Autumn (18 August 2010) schedule David McRedmond (CEO TV3) was interviewed by The Irish Times where he admitted mistakes had been made but and admitted that Play TV was axed not just due to falling audience figures but also to the bad press and the regulator's constant scrutiny of the show. He still refused to apologise to viewers on behalf of TV3 again stating that “It was an essential part of getting us through the recession” regardless of what the BAI called a “misleading and unfair” programme.[9]

Brain Box is an interactive phone-in quiz show on UTV and STV. As part of their Autumn schedule 2010 TV3 announced the re-broadcast of UTV's Brainbox TV show. The show began airing on TV3 on 9 September 2010, just 7 months after the axing of the controversial Play TV. It ceased broadcasting less than a week later.

Health of Brian Lenihan

On Saturday, 26 December 2009, TV3 News announced that it had been informed that the then Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan was suffering from a serious illness. The announcement was made according to TV3 as it was for the public good, many people were outraged at the way it was announced on TV3.

Senior government sources spoke of "outrage" across the political spectrum at the insensitive content and tone of a news bulletin broadcast, which the station had earlier flagged as a "news story of national importance". However, the station's decision was defended by The Irish Times and the political magazine The Phoenix. The BAI ruled in favour of TV3 in relation to this announcement, rejecting all 14 complaints made against TV3 to the regulator.[75]

TV3 at the time also stated that the bulletin was a normal bulletin that would normal run at 5:30, however TV3 are not known to produced a news bulletin on St. Stephens' Day (a Bank Holiday in Ireland) and since 2006 had reduced their weekend bulletins to 5 minutes.

Psychic Readings Live

Psychic Readings Live was a phone-in programme broadcast June–December 2012. It was much criticised for some apparently faked callers and psychics and for playing on the hopes and fears of some viewers. Complaints about it were upheld by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, and it was cancelled in December 2012.

See also


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External links

  • Official website
  • 3player
  • TV3 Sony HD Studios Dublin
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