Saturday 29 April 2017

Browne must go 'lifestyle' or TV3 will lose sponsor

Ban on corporate backing for news and current affairs shows means hard-hitter has to lighten up

Colum Kenny

Colum Kenny

Vincent Browne and TV3 have a problem. The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) will only let TV3's big new sponsorship deal with Bank of Scotland (Ireland) stand if Browne focuses on entertainment and lifestyle issues.

Last week, TV3 was trumpeting how its flagship show, renamed Tonight With Vincent Browne, would "build upon his reputation for tackling the country's toughest questions head on", and debate "both the main issues of the day and the more reflective dilemmas of modern Ireland".

But sponsorship of television current affairs flies in the face of EU law. It also breaks Irish regulations banning the sponsorship of news and current affairs on television. So, the BCI contacted TV3. It told me that, "TV3 has given commitments to change the focus of the programme in this slot from news and current affairs to entertainment/lifestyle."

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