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TV3 fights back with exclusive rights to the X Factor


Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

The X Factor's Simon Cowell.

The X Factor's Simon Cowell.


Downton Abbey

Despite losing Corrie and Emmerdale to UTV Ireland, it's not all bad news for TV3.

The Ballymount station has nabbed the exclusive rights for Simon Cowell's monster juggernaut The X Factor as well as Britain's Got Talent.

TV3 has screened the two talent shows for the past number of years and they have always claimed a spot in the list of its best-rated programmes.

The X Factor pulled in a peak of 506,000 viewers for one show alone during 2013, with similar figures expected this year.

TV3 also has the exclusive Irish screening rights to Britain's Got Talent, Downton Abbey and Broadchurch for the next year and is quietly confident about seeing off the threat represented by the rival station.

Some of the other shows like Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway and The Cube will also air on TV3 until 2016, as well as UTV Ireland.

A spokeswoman said: "We take all competition seriously but UTV Ireland seem to be pitching for an older audience. We look forward to revealing our plans to the industry next week."

She added how in 2015, over half of TV3's schedule will be home-produced.

This will include over 80 episodes dedicated to its new soap Red Rock.

Both stations will share the rights to a string of popular programmes including The Jonathan Ross Show, The Jeremy Kyle Show, The Graham Norton Show and Mr Selfridge. Some of these are in contract with TV3 until late 2016.

UTV Ireland show fired one of the first shots at its rivals earlier this year after confirming that it had nabbed the rights to screen Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

However, its Head of Programming Jeff Forde said they had been paying "extortionate rates" for the two soaps.