Media Notes (23-05-08)

This week’s media notes:

RTÉ has given more details on its plans for DTT – specifically what new channels it hopes to launch on the service. The broadcaster says it will launch a bona fide third channel (referred to at the moment as RTÉ Three) alongside a ‘time-shift’ service which will show RTÉ One programming an hour after normal scheduling. These services will compliment the new Oireachtas TV and Irish Film Board channels and possibly a few more, including TV3‘s 3Xposé (a lifestyle/fashion channel) and 3Today (a news/current affairs channel).
Read more: Catherine O’Mahony’s article in The Sunday Business Post.

Setanta Sports has gotten the US rights to show the English FA Cup – which will compliment the rights it already has to show the soccer tournament in the UK. An interesting part of this deal is that the station will link up with the FOX Sports Channel and will split the coverage 50/50. FOX, of course, is owned by Rupert Murdoch; the man who also owns Setanta’s market enemy in the UK – Sky Sports.
Read more: Ciarán Hancock in The Irish Times (subs required)

Johnson Press appears to be struggling under a burden of debt and is attempting to manage this through a rights issue. The hope is to raise around Stg£212m, all to avoid the selling off of any of the group’s newspapers. Johnson Press has a number of local newspapers on the island, both north and south, including the Leinster Leader, The Derry Journal and The Dundalk Democrat. Should the newspapers go on sale there will be plenty of potential buyers, not least The Irish Times which has been expanding its local newspaper output quite quickly – albeit from a significantly weaker starting point than its rivals in Thomas Crosbie Holdings and Independent News & Media.
Read more: Emmet Oliver in The Sunday Tribune.

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