‘Love Island’ boosts Irish viewers’ affections for 3e

Summer romance for Virgin-owned channel as audience grows by 223% from last year

‘Love Island’ contestant Alexandra pictured in a recent episode of the series, which concludes on 3e on Monday. Photograph: ITV

‘Love Island’ contestant Alexandra pictured in a recent episode of the series, which concludes on 3e on Monday. Photograph: ITV


Love Island, the reality series in which contestants couple up in a Mallorca villa, has proved an attractive acquisition for TV3 Group, with average per-episode ratings of almost 150,000 this summer up 223 per cent on its last run.

The fourth series of Love Island has drawn an average of 149,000 viewers to TV3 Group’s 3e channel in a 9pm slot over the past two months. The finale airs on Monday night.

The series had an audience reach of 1.8 million, with 46 per cent of 15-44-year-olds tuning in at some stage. The best performing episode was on July 3rd, which brought in an average of 202,600 viewers, according to the TAM Ireland figures compiled by ratings research company Nielsen.

The show has been particularly popular with younger audiences, luring an average of 24 per cent of the 15-44-year-olds watching television during its time slot. Among 15-24-year-olds, it has been watched by a third of viewers.

There have also been about 9 million online streams of the series and its spin-off shows on 3player and Virgin Media’s on-demand platform.

Love Island, presented by Caroline Flack, is made and distributed by ITV Studios and airs on ITV2 in the UK. Some 38 islanders have appeared on this series, which began on June 4th.

To “stay in” the villa, the islanders must be coupled up with another islander, for either love or pragmatism, with the winning couple receiving a prize of £50,000 (€56,000).

This series has generated a record number of complaints to UK regulator Ofcom, with viewers criticising the producers’ treatment of contestants Dani Dyer (daughter of actor Danny Dyer), Laura Anderson and Samira Mighty in three separate incidents.

Social hit

The various controversies have helped sustain consistently high social media interest. Throughout its run, Love Island has been number one in the buzz-tracking “social TV top 10” (excluding live sport) produced by industry ratings body TAM Ireland and software company Engager.

TV3 Group has been owned by Virgin Media Ireland since 2015 and the broadcaster, based in Ballymount in Dublin, will rebrand as Virgin Media Television at the end of August and 3e will then become known as Virgin Media Two.

It will continue to occupy channel 105 on Virgin’s electronic programme guide. The group originally acquired the channel as Channel 6 in 2008 and it has been known as 3e since 2009.

Before the rebrand, it will begin airing the next series of Celebrity Big Brother, while it has already started showing Love Island Australia, which kicked off its run at 10pm last Monday, attracting 91,000 viewers, and moves to the 9pm slot from Tuesday.