Monday 24 April 2017

TV3's rebrand 'a work in progress'

Nadia Forde on Celebrity MasterChef Ireland – it is now on TV3 after switching from RTE Picture: Ruth Medjber
Nadia Forde on Celebrity MasterChef Ireland – it is now on TV3 after switching from RTE Picture: Ruth Medjber
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

One of the country's largest ad agencies has described TV3's rebranding of its three stations, including the channel formerly known as UTV Ireland, as "disappointing".

TV3, which is now owned by Virgin Media, acquired UTV Ireland last year after the new station failed to make an impact on the Irish market. It has now been rebranded as be3.

TV3's main station has been given a major boost by the addition of soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale, which were on UTV Ireland, to its schedule. It is also the new home of Celebrity MasterChef Ireland. However, media buyers said that there had been little growth overall for the group in the first quarter, year-on-year. The rebranding of the TV3 group stations, including be3, launched in early January.

"So far for 2017 we have seen little increase in viewing share due to the merger of TV3, 3e and be3," said Nick Fletcher, broadcast director with Core Media. "It is still early days and the viewer will take time to become accustomed to the channel's brands and programmes, but there is some disappointment that we didn't see more immediate success."

Simon Crisp, general manager of GroupM, another major ad-buying agency, said that the TV3 rebrand remained "a work in progress" and that it would take 12 to 18 months for a new schedule to bed in.

Bill Malone, TV3 director of programming, said the group had seen strong growth in March and that it was on a good growth trajectory which would be boosted by new programming in the coming months. He said that Gogglebox had recently achieved its highest viewing numbers.

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