Sunday 24 September 2017

TV3 planning to give rugby Six Nations coverage a 'Super Bowl Sunday' feel

Bill Malone
Bill Malone
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Irish coverage of the Six Nations rugby tournament will take on a distinctly American feel when TV3 gets its hands on it.

The station's boss, Bill Malone, has promised its coverage will take inspiration from American TV networks' coverage of the Super Bowl - known for its dramatic and flamboyant production.

The station's director of programming indicated Irish rugby fans can expect razzmatazz when it comes to its transmission of the annual tournament.

He said the station will be taking a "Super Bowl Sunday approach" to the coverage of the popular sporting event.

He made the comments at a recent industry conference in Cannes, but declined to comment any further when asked for more details on what viewers could expect.

In a scrum over the rights in November 2015, TV3 beat RTE with a multi-million euro bid, meaning it will screen the tournament for four years until 2021.

Ireland’s CJ Stander in action against Wales
Ireland’s CJ Stander in action against Wales

TV3 will broadcast every game live and free-to-air for viewers in the Republic of Ireland from 2018 onwards.

Its coverage will also include previews, magazine programmes and highlight shows as well as delayed match replays of all matches to complement live coverage. In February, TV3 started transmitting its new rugby entertainment show Clubhouse, presented by Joe Molloy, as it starts to ramp up its coverage of the sport.

It achieved impressive viewing figures for its coverage of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, with more than one million viewers tuning in to see Ireland take on France.

Mr Malone also indicated that TV3 won't start selling advertising until after the Six Nations Council announces a new title sponsor to replace Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS).

Meanwhile, Today FM presenter Matt Cooper will present a new documentary called Trump v Ireland. He flew to America last month to start filming on the show.

TV3 is also starting work on a six-part contemporary drama which comes with a budget of a cool €3m.

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