Has 3e Found It’s Niche Market, Sport? (@3eIreland)
With television in Ireland rapidly changing due to streaming and increased competition from international channels available in Ireland. Is there really a need for another general entertainment channel? well UTV Ireland think so with the forthcoming launch this January. This has left many at RTÉ, TV3 and TG4 wondering what impact will a new Irish general entertainment channel have on the Irish media landscape.
3e has now more viewers than TG4, but could it increase viewership if it switched from a general entertainment channel to a sports channel. Okay so Ireland already has Setanta Sports and the recent launch of GAA Go, but a niche channel is probably what Ireland needs more than further general entertainment channels.
Over the weekend, a total audience of 600,000 people watched Saturday night’s UFC event in the O2 on 3e, as per numbers released by the broadcaster today, making it the highest viewed sporting event in the station’s history.
A peak audience of 340,200 was recorded for the event, while 257,500 viewers tuned in to watch Conor McGregor defeat Diego Brandao in the evening’s main event, a 21% share of the available audience.
The event - which also featured hometown fighters Cathal Pendred, Neil Seery and Paddy Holohan, as well as Northern Ireland’s Norman Parke and adopted Irishman Gunnar Nelson - scored a huge numbers in key demographics. It took in a 36.69% share of men 15-34 and, perhaps more impressively, a 43.33% share for adults aged 15-24.
3e posted an all-day share of 10.15% of available viewers aged 15-44 throughout the day - the highest of any television station in Ireland on Saturday.
Jeff Ford, Director of Content for 3e’s big brother TV3, said that the numbers prove that there is a real thirst for Mixed Martial Arts in Ireland.
"3e was the first broadcaster to take the plunge and broadcast UFC Live and Free to Air and the feedback from our viewers has been great", Ford said. "We would like to thank our friends and colleagues from the Ultimate Fighting Championship for their support and help and we look forward to continuing our relationship with them in the future."
3e’s excitement was echoed by Garry Cook, VP and GM UFC EMEA, who said: ”This was a night that will go down in history within the UFC for the record sell out and viewership figures. The collaboration between UFC and TV3, not just on the night, but in the weeks and days leading to the event has shown how an integrated partnership can benefit both organisations. Throughout the week, TV3 and 3e aired amazing content and were able to access the athletes across a number of platforms, building anticipation and ultimately driving the record breaking audience. We would like to congratulate our friends at TV3 and we look forward to bringing more UFC events in the future.”