Magnet launches full broadcast TV station with on-demand capabilities

13 Nov 2008

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Broadband and TV provider Magnet Entertainment has joined forces with TV production company Intermission Studio to launch the first youth-oriented TV channel in Ireland that will combine TV with fibre and broadband-based video-on-demand downloads.

The new channel Magnet Infinity TV (MiTV) will air on channel 100 on the Magnet fibre TV service, but will also be available online  on www.mitv.ie.

The new service follows the launch in recent months of Magnet’s PCTV service. Magnet chief executive Mark Kellett said the new station will feature on-demand content and a range of shows that include specialist music, movies and entertainment.

He said the move is in response to the growing prominence of sites like Bebo, YouTube and Facebook, which are capturing the drift of young audiences away from traditional TVs to watching content on their PCs and laptops.

Among the TV shows featuring on the new channel will be The Studio and You, which consists of budding presenters showcasing their presenting talents. A spokesperson for Magnet told siliconrepublic.com that the current crop of presenters on The Studio and You were recruited after a trawl of social networking sites.

Other shows include the Hit Shot, a weekly top-10 single and album chart, Press Pass, which interviews and records performances from international and local acts, and the inventive Playlist, an MP3-style playlist in video form.

Much of the content will be archived from previous weeks’ recordings.

“This new platform allows us to reach outside our private network and show the Irish public what we can do,” Kellett explained. “As a business, it also holds the possibility for future sponsorship and advertising opportunities.

“Because it will be primarily on an IP-based platform, it includes the ability to do analysis on viewer statistics and demonstrate targeting opportunities for future sponsors.”

Intermission Studio was formed by Aine Healy after she acquired studio equipment from Rondomondo, where she previously worked until Eircom pulled the plug on the ahead-of-its-time project in 2001.

In June 2007, the company was awarded a broadcasting licence for its youth-oriented channel, and it had targeted the service at a cable or satellite offering. Healy explained that with the exit of Sky Ireland from the market, the company decided the future was online.

“Magnet, with its world class infrastructure, and Intermission, with its unique and original content, aims to deliver something totally unique and totally Irish.

“Many of our presenters like DJ Arveene already have a strong following with their target audience and shows like TheStudio and You illustrate just how involved viewers can be,” she said.

Kellett said Magnet will be moving to enhance its PCTV and new channel offerings. “We’ll be adding new channels and increasing the range of video- on-demand content. We’ll also be talking to other providers, so there’s a very strong roadmap for this. It’s been a learning exercise for us in terms of how people consume content, but it illustrates to us also the opportunity to put content on a myriad of devices.

“This is ground-breaking and because it’s all built around internet protocol, it can go in a number of directions,” he said.

By John Kennedy

Pictured: Magnet chief executive, Mark Kellet, and Aine Healy, Intermission Studio

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com