Friday 15 February 2019

New station bringing RTE stars to the Irish diaspora

RTE's Miriam O'Callaghan and Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain
RTE's Miriam O'Callaghan and Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain

Sarah McCabe

IRISH TV, the new station backed by London taxi entrepreneur John Griffin, is building its own set top boxes so US customers can access Irish content on their televisions.

The company is creating its own version of the popular Apple TV to sell to the Irish diaspora, so they can watch Irish stars like RTE's Miriam O'Callaghan and Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain (above) in the same way domestic viewers do.

The boxes will be available early next year.

Mr Griffin has already ploughed €3m of a €15m pledged investment into the project, following a chance meeting with founder Pierce O'Brien in a London pub last year.

The set top boxes will be lucrative from an advertising perspective, he said. "This will be the cheapest and most effective way for Irish brands to access the American market".

Irish TV is already up and running in Ireland, where it is available on Sky and Freesat. It is in talks with UPC. Saorview, Mr O'Brien said, is prohibitively expensive for it to access.

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