150 jobs will be created when Ireland’s first international television channel, IrishTV, launches on May 1st.
IrishTV will broadcast across the UK, Ireland and Europe on Sky Channel 191, and Freesat and in the US on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).
Broadcasting 24 hours a day, IrishTV will feature 50 unique home-produced programmes a week, with original content each night from 6-12pm. IrishTV will also be providing an international platform for specific RTE Digital content, which will centre on news and politics.
Founded by Mayo entrepreneurs Pierce O’Reilly and Mairead Ní Mhaoilchiaráin, the €15m project will focus on bringing rural Ireland to a global audience and will also have an online service available across all devices on IrishTV.com.
IrishTV’s chairman is Mayo-born multi-millionaire John Griffin, who has recently sold the UK’s largest minicab service Addison Lee for €360m.
IrishTV is an all-Ireland channel and each of the 32 counties will have their own half-hour County Matters show once a week, produced by IrishTV’s own nationwide production network.
“The theme of the County Matters shows is simple – Irish rural life is unique, with its own cultures, traditions and events. At the heart of these events are people, and wherever people gather, we’ll be there,” said CEO, Pierce O’Reilly.
“Three people will be employed in each county in production, presentation and commercial positions on the County Matters shows, while an initial 34 staff will be based at IrishTV headquarters in Westport, with a further five in our northern office in Donaghmore, Tyrone.
“Internationally, ten people will be employed across three UK offices in Manchester, Liverpool and London and an initial five in Irish TV’s US base in Cleveland Ohio.
“With a focus on connecting people to their locality, IrishTV aims to shine a light on rural Ireland and bring the real essence of Irish life to a worldwide audience.
“So whether you’re from Cavan, Carlow, Cork or Clare, there is at least half an hour’s worth of programming a week bringing your local area to you, wherever you are in the world.”
IrishTV will also produce and feature local news, sports, children’s, culture, music, golf, food, agriculture and entertainment programming. Musically, the spotlight will be on the successful country and Irish format, with stars such as Nathan Carter and Mike Denver featuring large, and singing sensation Lisa McHugh presenting a prime time Saturday night show.
“Securing the deals both with Sky in the UK and Europe and PBS in the US has enabled us to potentially capture a large portion of the Irish diaspora – people who will now be closer to home than ever,” O’Reilly adds. “This will also create a positive commercial offering for advertisers, both at home and abroad.
“We think locally but broadcast globally. IrishTV is all about putting rural Irish communities first and foremost and creating engaging content that will tell local stories with honesty and integrity.”