UPC’s purchase of TV3 – what can we expect?
Mark Whelan
Staff Writer

Last week, we got word that UPC Ireland had continued its recent acquisition splurge and snapped up TV3. The amount is €80m, potentially rising to €87m, and both companies sound pretty happy with the deal. UPC Ireland’s CEO, Magnus Ternsjö, was “pleased to welcome” TV3 to its new home, while the station’s main man, David McRedmond, said he was “absolutely delighted” with the agreement.


TV3 – the innovation station?

From stumbling into existence in 1998, to the highs of being purchased for €265m by Doughty Hanson in 2006, to re-structuring its Anglo loans in the depths of Ireland’s media recession, it has been an interesting journey to this point for Ireland’s leading commercial broadcaster. The acquisition by UPC Ireland could be the catalyst for a new era at the station, which has displayed an appetite for innovation over the years.

Despite facing challenges from new kid on the block, UTV Ireland, which managed to lure Ken Barlow and co to its side of the tracks, TV3 has not been afraid to embrace change and think ahead. It launched the TV3 HD Studio in 2013, responded to the loss of Corrie and Emmerdale by launching Red Rock (which has been watched by 2.3million people) and still runs the country’s most widely-distributed video-on-demand platform, 3PLAYER.

TV3’s operating results in 2014 were its best since 2008 and the station will now benefit from being able to increase investment in the production of original content and will enjoy use of UPC’s distribution infrastructure too.

UPC is no stranger to TV innovation itself, with its My Prime streaming service firmly focusing its sights on Netflix, and its recently-announced summer offers providing new and existing customers with free TV for a whole year.

The tools are in place for the new TV3-UPC combination to produce more than the sum of its parts and will certainly spark some conversations along the corridors of our national broadcaster and UTV Ireland, which is still finding its feet here.


Ireland loves TV!

UPC Ireland will be well versed in stats which show that spending on TV advertising is on the rise, after the industry went through a phase of re-adjustment amidst the explosion of online streaming.

Media research giants, TAM, recently revealed that there was €217m spent on TV ads in Ireland last year, which is almost one third of the entire country’s ad spend.

We’re big fans TV fans here, with adults spending an average of nearly three and a half hours glued to the box every day! About 37 ads cross an Irish TV screen during that amount of time.

TV advertising may not provide the precision targeting options of the online world, but UPC Ireland’s eyes will have lit up at the sight of Ireland’s TV viewing figures.


New shows

Our choice of high quality entertainment is constantly increasing and UPC Ireland’s purchase of TV3 will add even more options in time, which is good news for TV addicts and advertisers alike.

It’ll be interesting to see what new original Irish programmes emerge over the next few years as a result of the acquisition – Vincent Browne as the new Nidge anyone?