TV3 is embarking on an intensive drive to sell its shows overseas as the broadcaster fights to diversify its sources of revenues.
The Ballymount-headquartered station is branching out as it prepares to lose flagship shows 'Coronation Street' and 'Emmerdale' next year. UTV, which is launching its own Irish station in January, has snapped up the 2015 broadcasting rights for those shows.
TV3 has sold full episodes of its productions to other stations in the past – its content was aired across 28 countries last year – but now wants to sell the ideas or formats behind its shows to other broadcasters as well.
It has secured agreements with a number of middle-man distributors and TV3 executives will attend a rake of television distribution conventions this year, including industry titan MIP in Cannes this April, to highlight their programmes.
"The majority of big shows you see on TV – 'Big Brother' and 'Strictly Come Dancing', for example – have had their formats sold into multiple markets," explained the stations' content director Jeff Ford. "We want to be a part of that. Given that advertising revenues fluctuate, it's important to diversify."
The loss of 'Coronation Street' and 'Emmerdale' have freed up a large amount of money which is being channelled into more original content, he said.
The station has already started work on its third in-house show of 2014, produced from its new Sony HD Studio in Dublin.
Game show 'Crossfire', due to air on March 28 in the primetime slot of 8pm, will be presented by Newstalk anchor Sean Moncrieff in his first return to Irish TV screens in several years.
It follows 'The Lie', another game show, which French broadcasters have shown an interest in commissioning, and 'Keith Barry: Brainhacker' (pictured)".
An in-house Irish soap is due to launch early next year, while a number of home-made factual programmes are also in the works.