Sunday 23 July 2017

Colum Kenny: Lights, cameras... inaction as TV stations face cuts

The future's not so rosy for hard-up broadcasters scrambling to keep us glued to the box, writes Colum Kenny

Colum Kenny

Colum Kenny

Presenters come and presenters go -- but The Rose of Tralee goes on forever. It is still one of the most popular programmes on Irish television -- No 6 in the Top 10 last year. No matter what cynics think of it, only a brave or foolish programme controller would dare to drop The Rose from schedules in favour of something trendier.

Nielsen audience ratings now available for 2009 reveal that news, sport and talent shows still keep us glued to the box. We particularly like Irish-made programmes, even if the struggle by broadcasters to fund these gets harder by the year. Growing numbers of foreign channels tempt Irish viewers away, fragmenting audiences into smaller units.

More than one million people read the Sunday Independent each week. But only one TV programme produced in the Republic was watched last year by more than one million viewers at any given time. That was The Late Late Toy Show, presented by Ryan Tubridy on November 27.

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