Sunday 21 December 2014

The fight is on as 3e secures ringside rights for UFC bout

Published 08/06/2014 | 02:30

KICK: Conor McGregor in the ring

TV3's second channel – 3e – is close to inking a deal to show the Dublin fight between Ultimate Fighting Championship's dapper Irish superstar Conor McGregor and Brazilian Diego Brandao, which is set for July.

It's the latest high-profile rights deal hoovered up by the Ballymount-based TV group as it continues its scorched-earth policy before the arrival of UTV's new Irish station next year.

It also has rights to the Europa League, which will feature Premiership favourites Tottenham Hotspur and Everton next season.

TV3 is spending up to €20m buying up rights for high-profile shows and sporting events as well as commissioning a swathe of home-produced content ahead of UTV's arrival.

The station had its best-ever ratings last month, buoyed by shows including Nadia Goes to Hollywood, fyi, Uploaded and The Graham Norton Show. 3e, like TV3, is focusing on more home-produced and event-driven content into 2015.

Latest figures show that 3e is closing the ground on bitter rival UTV. In May 2013, 3e had a 2.07 per cent Adult 15+ share compared to 3.40 per cent for UTV. This gap has shrunk over the last year, with 3e rising to a 2.18 per cent share and UTV dipping to 3.29 percent last month.

The 3e newbies also racked up a significantly higher share than State-owned TG4. The Irish language station had a 1.77 per cent share compared with 3e's 2.18 per cent share.

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