TV3’s ‘Red Rock’ awarded €550,000 from licence fee funds

TV and radio producers receive €5.6 million in latest round of broadcasting grants

TV3 soap opera Red Rock has received €550,000 in funding from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) for its next series, the highest award in the latest round of grants from its Sound and Vision scheme.

The makers of the Garda-themed drama were previously awarded a grant of €800,000 to get the production up and running as well as a second grant of €700,000 for its second series, taking its tally of licence fee funding to more than €2 million.

Red Rock, which is made for TV3 by Element Pictures and Angel Station, has now switched to producing 40 episodes of 44 minutes' duration each year, rather than the original 80 episodes of 22 minutes' duration.

The soap, which TV3 has sold to BBC One and Amazon Prime Video, took a mid-season break in November and will return with an extra-long special episode on January 9th.


Some 7 per cent of annual television licence fee receipts are given to the BAI to award to independent television and radio producers, who submit programme ideas to its assessors. The scheme is typically oversubscribed.

TV projects

In the latest round, funding of almost €5.6 million was allocated to 126 projects. Just a little more than €5 million of this was awarded to some 30 television projects, while 96 radio projects will receive €550,000 between them.

Some 230 applications were received in this round of the scheme, seeking funding of €19.4 million, the BAI said.

BAI chief executive Michael O’Keeffe said €27 million had been allocated across five rounds since January 2015 and that this was €3 million more than had originally been indicated.

Two of the larger awards were for programme-makers commissioned by RTÉjr. Meangadh Fíbín received €350,000 to make educational series Mr Mender & the Chummyjiggers, while Dancing Girl Productions was awarded €300,000 to make the animated series Leona's Warriors.

Treasure Entertainment received €300,000 to make the six-part series Alternative Miss Ireland for RTÉ One, while Samson Films also received €300,000 to help make a one-off drama called Float Like a Butterfly for BBC Northern Ireland.

Among the other television grants, Mind the Gap Films was awarded €290,000 to make six further episodes of the entertainment series Lords & Ladles for RTÉ One, Tyrone Productions was granted €200,000 for three-part documentary series The Age Gap Choir for the same channel and Parallel Films received €100,000 for the RTÉ2-commissioned Damo & Ivor: The Movie.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

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