UTV Ireland hosts briefing session for programme-makers

Executives will discuss commissioning process ahead of January 1st channel launch

Coronation Street barmaid Tina McIntyre, played by Michelle Keegan, in a scene from the ITV soap. Photograph: Joseph Scanlon/ITV/PA Wire

Coronation Street barmaid Tina McIntyre, played by Michelle Keegan, in a scene from the ITV soap. Photograph: Joseph Scanlon/ITV/PA Wire

 

With just a little more than six months to go before its planned launch date of January 1st, 2015, UTV Ireland is holding a briefing session for independent production companies in Dublin to “discuss the commissioning process” for the new channel.

A maximum of two representatives from independent companies have been invited to register their interest to attend the briefing by emailing commissioning @utv.ie by next Tuesday.

The event is scheduled for June 19th with the venue and time to be confirmed to attendees.

But there is no need to bring show reels or pilot promos to the table just yet: “This event is to explain the commissioning process of UTV Ireland and to answer questions. It is not intended as an event to pitch ideas,” the invitation posted on utvireland.ie reads.

Answering production companies’ questions will be UTV Media’s managing director of television, Michael Wilson, and Mary Curtis, the head of the channel, who will outline UTV Ireland’s programme requirements, commissioning process and code of practice.

Wilson says UTV Ireland wants to “develop strong relationships with the independent sector in Ireland” and bring further choice to the market “by commissioning high quality domestic programming across all genres”.

The broadcaster has been “delighted” with the interest shown by the independent production sector to date, he adds.

Curtis, the former RTÉ executive whose appointment was announced in April, says the channel will “reflect the interests of our audience” and that the briefing is an opportunity to talk about programming and commissioning to “ensure we get the best ideas for the channel and engage with the Irish audience through relevant public service Irish content”.

Meanwhile, the closing date for aspiring continuity presenters aged 18-plus, who fancy being the “Julian” of UTV Ireland, is tomorrow week, June 13th.

Continuity announcer

Julian SimmonsCoronation StreetEmmerdaleTV3

UTV’s successful licence application to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland confirmed its plan to broadcast a news programme, “similar to UTV Live Tonight”, from Monday to Thursday at 10pm, while also suggesting it will make the equivalent of factual shows such as Lesser Spotted Ulster, Ultimate Ulster and Wild About Ulster.

UTV Ireland advertised the position of head of news in February, but an appointment has yet to be announced.