Sunday 19 August 2018

Showdown between TG4 and producers over rights

Western series An Klondike is now on Netflix
Western series An Klondike is now on Netflix
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

TV likes a bit of drama and I hear that a row between TG4 and independent television producers has been escalating in recent months.

The disagreement between the Irish-language station and representative body Screen Producers Ireland (SPI) centres on rights to programming. TG4 wants the rights to material its commissions to be "in perpetuity" but some programme makers think that's a tad too long. And little wonder with shows such as Western An Klondike being picked up by Netflix.

The preference for SPI would be for the rights to span five years, after which time they revert to the producers. This row is exacerbated by the fact that TG4 has not signed up to the Code of Fair Trading Practice, which applies to shows where a public service broadcaster has contributed 25pc or more of the costs. The regulator, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), can't force the Irish-language station to sign up but would very much like to see it adopt the code.

However, TG4 has a different take on the whole rights issue. It believes that it has a role in preserving programming made in a minority language and some earlier material has already been lost. So it wants to see a longer-term relationship built into contracts.

The BAI has offered to help facilitate discussions and the body is confident a solution will be met.

UK cabinet reshuffle is gee-up for gambling stock

Could the British government spell good news for Paddy Power Betfair and other bookies? The share price of gambling stock has been weighed down by fears of increased regulation over the past year, with a crackdown on fixed-odds betting terminals high on the agenda.

But the transfer of Matt Hancock to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport might alter the playing field. "Matt is seen as business-friendly and is a known supporter of horse racing in the past," said Goodbody.

The chairman of the Association of British Bookmakers, Paul Darling, was also feeling lucky. "He has a full understanding of the industry and its dynamics and we look forward to working with him," he said.

The Racing Post noted that Hancock, whose constituency includes Newmarket, is regarded as one of racing's biggest supporters in parliament. However, gaming machines remain a highly sensitive issue which is unlikely to find many supporters.

Ex-UTV executive Wilson off to a flying start on the Isle of Man

Back in 2013, Michael Wilson was leading Project Chaffinch, named after the bird which flies south for the winter. It was UTV's top-secret plan to take on the Irish TV market with a new station. But, like the bird, it didn't stay south for long.  UTV's venture ended up being bought by TV3 after significant losses. The Irish market turned out to be far more competitive that UTV had anticipated.

ITV went on to buy UTV's Northern Ireland business and Wilson, who was managing director of UTV Television, left the operation as did many others. It emerged on Friday that Wilson has a new gig, this time in the Isle of Man.

He will be the new CEO of Isle of Media - a public, private partnership which aims to market "the Isle of Man's media cluster".

Wilson is already in sales mode describing the island "as a picturesque filming location". His experience at UTV will serve him well, as he will face stiff competition, not least of all from Ireland.

Sunday Indo Business

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