Some 150 new jobs will be created when Ireland’s first international television channel launches on 1 May, the company’s founders have claimed.
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).
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 recently sold the UK’s largest minicab service Addison Lee for €360m.
Broadcasting 24 hours a day, IrishTV will feature 50 home-produced programmes a week, with original content each night from 6-12pm.
IrishTV will also be providing an international platform for specific RTÉ Digital content, which will centre on news and politics.
Local voice, global impact
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 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 O’Reilly, CEO of IrishTV.
“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, 10 people will be employed across three UK offices in Manchester, Liverpool and London, and an initial five in IrishTV’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.
“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 said.
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