.TV: 3e Surpasses UTV in Ratings But For How Long? (@tv3Ireland), (@3eIreland)
TV3 Group can confirm its second channel 3e has passed UTV in the ratings. For the first time prior to the launch of the Republic of Ireland UTV channel due in January. 3e has gained traction against one of its biggest competitors.
Figures for the third quarter of 2014 show that 3e just pulled ahead of its Northern Ireland rival, netting a 2.67pc share of the Adult 15+ market compared to 2.66pc for UTV.
UFC was a big winner for the Ballymount-based TV group, as 3e’s showing of Conor McGregor’s defeat of Brazilian Diego Brandao reeled in an average of over a quarter of a million viewers.
A TV3 spokeswoman said: “3e has performed really well recently and we now have a deal in place with the UFC to cover all UFC events on a delayed basis.”
TV3 has recently invested €20m buying up the rights of high-profile shows and ordering new content ahead of the launch of UTV’s Irish channel in January 2015.
A UTV spokesman pointed out that the station is only available in 46pc of Irish households, compared to over 90pc for 3e.
He added: “When UTV Ireland launches, it will be a mainstream channel so it cannot be compared to 3e - which is a niche channel.”
3e is expect to rebrand from November prior to the launch of UTV Ireland which goes on air from January 1, 2015 and where the majority of its programming will kick off from January 5, 2015. UTV has yet to announce how it will be available to Republic of Ireland viewers whether Saorview, Sky or UPC.
Meanwhile TV3 News has lost Claire Brock will move to UTV Ireland News from January. RTÉ has lost another major player to UTV, Paul Colgan announced his appointment to UTV Ireland as Economics Editor earlier in the week.