BSkyB plans to hit Irish TV ad market spark TV3 criticism

TV3, the new Irish independent station to go on air in the autumn, has taken action in an attempt to prevent BSkyB moving in on the pounds 150 million-a-year advertising market in Ireland.

TV3, the new Irish independent station to go on air in the autumn,

has taken action in an attempt to prevent BSkyB moving in on the pounds

150 million-a-year advertising market in Ireland.



In an effort to protect its revenue from the new challenger, TV3 has

complained about the Sky move to the Irish industry’s regulatory body,

the Independent Radio and Television Commission.



Executives of the Rupert Murdoch-owned satellite company have already

had talks about its plans with media buyers in Dublin. It is believed

they have indicated that Sky News and Sky One would be screening

separate Irish ads by next January.



Industry sources estimate that the two channels could cream off up to

pounds 5 million a year from the Irish market - a figure which

represents half of the advertising revenue TV3 has budgeted on

attracting in its first year.



The TV3 chief executive, Rick Hetherington, admitted that he was worried

about the impact on the fledgling station of a major new competitor in

an already crowded advertising market. ’From a business standpoint, the

more competition you face, the more difficult your life becomes,’ he

said.



’The issue is: should someone not providing a primary service in a

country be allowed to sell commercial airtime in that country? I’m not

aware of any application by Sky to offer a separate service in Ireland

for Ireland.’



Six years ago, BSkyB attempted to insert separate ads for Ireland, a

move which was blocked by RTE, the national broadcaster, then a major

shareholder in Cablelink, which carries the Sky channels.



Global Brief, p14.



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