TV3 stunned by UTV's struggle as it launches new line-up
TV3 bosses have described rival station UTV Ireland's loss of viewers as "staggering".
This week it emerged the station's 5:30pm news programme pulls in ratings of just 4,700, with UTV Ireland facing cumulative losses of €16.2m this year.
According to TV3 group director of content, Lynda McQuaid, UTV Ireland "have failed to hold on to audiences" despite airing two of the most popular UK soaps, 'Coronation Street' and 'Emmerdale'.
In fact, Ms McQuaid believes there is no other station in the world with a ratings graph that falls in such a catastrophic way.
"They literally peak with the two soaps, and, I wouldn't say in the world over there is a graph that falls so staggeringly," Ms McQuaid said.
"It's unfortunate but that is what has happened. They have simply failed to hold on to the audience after those programmes."
Last night, UTV Ireland spokesman Neal Cummins said UTV Ireland was "not going to get drawn into commenting on TV3's comments".
TV3 unveiled the highlights of its upcoming autumn schedule yesterday.
The slate includes several new acquisitions, including competitive renovation game show 'House Rules' and the 'Great Irish Menu', which follows on from the success of the BBC Two series 'The Great British Menu'.
Home-produced soap 'Red Rock', 'The Great Irish Bake-Off' and 'The Restaurant' will all return.
Fly on the wall documentary series 'The Joy' will detail the lives of inmates and guards in Mountjoy Prison, while Vincent Browne will front a one-off documentary focusing on Sinn Féin and Gerry Adams.
Ivan Yates, Simon Delaney and Anna Daly will provide entertainment over the weekend with mid-morning shows 'Saturday: AM' and 'Sunday: AM'.
All 48 Rugby World Cup matches will be screened, as will UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup finals.
Meanwhile, RTE Sport announced it has secured the rights to screen the UEFA Euro 2016 Championships.