TV3 unveils new season's line-up to woo RTÉ's audience


TV3 HAS announced a new spring schedule which it described as its most diverse and eclectic yet. The broadcaster yesterday unveiled a line-up featuring drama, sport, reality TV and entertainment, of which more than one-third is Irish made, that it hopes can help it to better compete with RTÉ and further increase its audience share.

Businessman Bill Cullen will return with The Celebrity Apprentice. TV3 was tight-lipped as to who might feature in the charity series but it promised a range of “high-calibre” figures from sport, politics, music and TV.

A five-part series entitled Aftermathwill examine the knock-on effects of murder and manslaughter in Ireland, while The Cosmetic Surgery Showsees Caroline Morahan take a warts-and-all look at the practice here and abroad.

Documentary series The Secret Life of Teenagerswill explore the issues facing young Irish people such as peer pressure, and Facing Deathprofiles terminally ill patients as they come to terms with illness and their mortality.

The station will also broadcast action from the latter stages of the Champions League and Europa League and GAA matches, along with political series Taoiseachand new series of the popular Britain’s Got Talent, American Idol, Dancing on Iceand The Tudors.

TV3 chief executive David McRedmond said this was the channel’s most diverse schedule ever and that he hoped it could build on its performance last year which he said was “extremely strong”. He said, in spite of a deep recession that saw it lay off some 50 staff, TV3 had increased its audience share from 11.9 to 12.3 per cent in 2009, making it the most-watched channel here after RTÉ 1.

“For the autumn, TV3 was the number one channel, ahead of all the foreign channels and in this case RTÉ1 and RTÉ2, for adults aged 15-24 and women 15-34. This was the first time TV3 ever came number one in a .”

Mr McRedmond said he felt TV3 could increase its audience share in the spring, where it traditionally struggled against RTÉ, consolidate gains and create healthy competition: “There’s a good range of programming there. Whether it be Taoiseach, which draws a good ABC audience, or our The Cosmetic Surgery Showwhich is typically for the younger female audience.”

Mr McRedmond said he expected the first six months to be difficult, but he said advertising and programme sponsorship were showing signs of recovery.


TV3 HAS said it is involved in a process with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) regarding complaints about its decision to report that Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan had been diagnosed with cancer.The BAI said it had received 80 valid complaints about the broadcast and that the window for such complaints remained open for 30 days following the transmission.

David McRedmond, the channel’s chief executive, said it was dealing with the process and that TV3’s job was to work through it “professionally and properly”.

“We were clear about what we have done . . . and it was clear that people can reasonably reach different decisions when you have a call to make . . .” he said.

TV3 last week defended its decision to report Mr Lenihan’s illness on St Stephen’s Day.

The broadcaster said the report was “a legitimate and important news story because it was professionally and properly sourced and because the Minister’s health is a matter of public interest.

“TV3 believes that there is a professional obligation to distribute news to our viewers . . .

“We held the report for as long as feasible within that obligation.”

Mr McRedmond said yesterday that his statement was clear and careful.

He added that he did not want to make any comment that went beyond that statement.

“That’s really our position,” he said.