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
’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
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.