Audience shares for time-shift TV channels add up

Watching an hour behind schedule on +1 services proves popular with Irish viewers

Television viewing methods may have proliferated to include storing entire series on digital boxes, accessing catch-up players through the red button and watching Netflix on your Wii, but one even humble innovation from the last decade still commands the attention of viewers: the time-shift channel.

One year after the RTÉ One + 1 channel was added to UPC's service on channel 107, it typically receives a 0.4-0.45 per cent share of total viewing.

Combined share
The shares of time-shifting channels all add up to a significant audience chunk – in the week ending March 17th, the five time-shifted channels tracked by Nielsen for television ratings body TAM Ireland (RTÉ One +1, Channel 4 +1, E4 +1, Comedy Central +1 and Sky Living +1) enjoyed a combined share of 1.6 per cent.This was greater than the audience for, say, BBC Two (1.46 per cent).

Meanwhile, in the previous week, the five time-shift channels enjoyed a combined 1.78 per cent share, which was around the same as that for TG4 in the same period.


RTÉ first ventured into time-shifting in 2011 when RTÉ One +1 became one of the channels made available under the single Saorview digital terrestrial television (DTT) multiplex.

Other channels
The channel, which is not included in Sky's satellite packages, is currently only available after 7pm as it shares space on the Saorview multiplex with RTÉ jr, which is broadcast until 7pm.

If additional DTT multiplexes ever become available, they are likely to be filled in part by time-shifting services for other Irish channels eager to capture the eyeballs of those living one hour in the television past.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics