TV3 Group to rebrand as Virgin Media Television
The group’s three free-to-air channels, TV3, 3e and be3, will be rebranded as ‘Virgin Media One’, ‘Virgin Media Two’ and ‘Virgin Media Three’ with ‘Virgin Media Player’, the new name for the group’s on-demand broadcast player.
A brand-new sports channel, ‘Virgin Media Sport’ exclusively for Virgin Media customers is also being launched.
New season programming highlights include ‘Blood’, an Irish psychological drama series starring BAFTA nominee Adrian Dunbar; a brand new nightly 8pm News Bulletin; and the return of ‘Ireland’s Got Talent’ for a second series.
TV3 Group, the Virgin Media-owned broadcaster, confirmed plans to rebrand as Virgin Media Television at an event held today at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin.
The group’s three free-to-air channels TV3, 3e and be3 will be rebranded as Virgin Media One, Virgin Media Two and Virgin Media Three. The rebrand will come into effect on August 30th 2018, when viewers will see the new channel identities on-air.
In addition, a brand new sports channel, Virgin Media Sport, is being announced for Virgin Media customers. The channel will be the home of top class European football and the latest sports news.
In all, Virgin Media Television will air over 450 top-level football matches in the coming season including UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League as well as Qualifiers for UEFA EURO 2020 together with a range of exciting fixtures from the inaugural UEFA Nations League that begins in September and from other top football tournaments. Graeme Souness will head up the panel of experts, bringing award-winning analysis and opinion to the most prestigious football competitions in the world.
After a momentous year for Irish rugby and in addition to exclusive coverage of the NatWest 6 Nations, the Heineken Champions Cup Rugby will be live and free-to-air television for the first time since 2006. Broadcasting nine live Heineken Champions Cup rugby games, Virgin Media Television will show one live group stage match per week, followed by one Quarter-Final and one Semi-Final, culminating in the Champions Cup Final in May.
Brand new original Irish drama Blood was announced. This psychological crime thriller stars BAFTA nominee Adrian Dunbar, who many viewers will know from playing Superintendent Ted Hastings in the BBC One crime thriller, Line of Duty. Written by Sophie Petzal (Red Rock, The Last Kingdom, Riviera) and produced by Jonathan Fisher (Midsomer Murders, Lewis), the series is being produced by Company Pictures and Element Pictures in association with Virgin Media Television and all3media international. All3media international are currently in discussion with a number of international broadcast partners across a variety of territories - including the UK.
Virgin Media Television will offer viewers a new, nightly 8pm News Bulletin. Fronted by journalist and broadcaster Claire Brock, it will deliver the latest news and breaking stories from all over Ireland.
The nation’s favourite talent show, Ireland’s Got Talent, has been confirmed for a second series. Ireland’s biggest talent search will be back on our screens in early 2019 with a call out for applicants now open – www.tv3.ie/igt
Factual continues to be a major focus with brand new series Inside James’s, looking at life at Ireland’s biggest University Teaching Hospital; The Town, following families going through the highs and lows of modern Irish life in Portlaoise; Revolting Ireland, with Simon Delaney, who takes us through a potted history of all things protest, from the 1913 lockout to the abortion referendum; and Inside Ireland’s Biggest Prison, which takes us inside the Midland’s Prison to meet the prisoners and those responsible for keeping them behind bars.
The True Lives documentary strand will return for six brand new episodes and will look at everything from Donncha O’Callaghan’s Sporting Afterlife to David McWilliams: Back to the Future.
Tony Hanway, Group CEO Virgin Media Ireland said; “This move sees us strengthen our position as Irelands leading connected entertainment provider. Bringing together our Broadband and Broadcasting networks under the unique Virgin Media brand is an exciting development for our viewers, our customers and everyone in Team Virgin Media.”
Pat Kiely, TV3 Group Managing Director said; “As part of Virgin Media, TV3 group channels have grown in scale and quality. It’s now time to build on this momentum and move to Virgin Media Television. This is a natural evolution as we bring our channels and platform closer together. Virgin Media One, the new name for TV3, will be the home of some of Ireland’s biggest and most popular shows with Virgin Media Two, Three and Sport giving our viewers and customers a diverse choice of great content. These are exciting times for media and we’re delighted to be at the forefront of the changing face of broadcasting in Ireland.”
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Notes to Editor
· TV3 Group will be rebranded to Virgin Media Television.
· The group’s three free-to-air channels TV3, 3e and be3 will be rebranded as Virgin Media One, Virgin Media Two and Virgin Media Three.
· 3player will be rebranded to Virgin Media Player.
· The rebrand will go live on 30th August when viewers see the new channel marks on air.
Returning series announced for Virgin Media Television’s Autumn Schedule:
Living with Lucy – Series
Living with Lucy is back with ten brand new episodes as Lucy Kennedy heads off to share space, life and conversation with a host of well-known celebrities in their own homes. Celebrities include Nathan Carter, Deirdre O’Kane and Christie Dignam.
Gogglebox Ireland – Series
After three hugely successful series Gogglebox Ireland returns for a fourth series with Ireland's most opinionated and avid TV viewers giving their views on some of the most memorable TV of the past week.
The Restaurant – Series
The Restaurant returns for a brand new season, fronted by the legendary Marco Pierre White along with guest food critic, Irish celebrity chef and writer, Rachel Allen. Six new celebrities will be donning aprons as they bid to impress our critics.
Celebrity Big Brother – Series
Emma Willis will be back to launch a brand new series of Celebrity Big Brother with brand new celebrities cutting themselves off from the outside world and living under the ever watchful eye of Big Brother.
The X Factor – Series
The X Factor will return with lots of new elements for a brand new season including some new judges to join music mogul Simon Cowell. The judges will travel far and wide to find the show’s next big star!
I’m a Celebrity get me out of Here! – Series
I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! will be back for a brand new season. A fresh batch of celebrities will swap luxury for bushtucker trails all with the aim of being crowned the next King or Queen of the jungle.
The Graham Norton Show - Series
Graham Norton returns to our screens with a new series of The Graham Norton Show, focusing on people, trends, stories and aspects of celebrity culture that interest him the most. Graham’s razor-edged comedy captivates audiences around the globe.
Brand new Irish drama:
Blood – Series
Blood is a major original Irish drama series featuring BAFTA nominee Adrian Dunbar and newcomer Carolina Main (Unforgotten). Written by Sophie Petzal (Red Rock, The Last Kingdom, Riviera) and produced by Jonathan Fisher (Midsomer Murders, Lewis), Blood is a brand new six part psychological crime thriller. Currently being filmed in County Meath and Kildare, it follows the saga of the Hogan family, an ordinary Irish family, with the usual strains and resentments that any family has, bubbling just under the surface. After the sudden death of her mother, estranged youngest daughter Cat is called home. This uncomfortable, unplanned reunion awakens demons from Cat’s past and shines a new, suspicious light on her mother's death, the fallout of which will ultimately change Cat's life forever… Was her mother’s death a simple accident or was it murder?
The series is being produced by Company Pictures and Element Pictures in association with Virgin Media Television and all3media international - the latter is presently in discussion with various potential international partners regarding the show. Blood is directed by Lisa Mulcahy and Hannah Quinn, and co-produced by Ingrid Goodwin.
Red Rock – Series
Things are about to get explosive with ten brand new episodes of Red Rock. Keith’s feelings for Alice start to grow as he heads over to France for a drug deal. New breaks in the Donna Burke case cause problems for Dunne and Callaghan, is the net closing in on them? Patricia realises that she is in serious trouble because of her deal that Callaghan and she takes drastic action.
Inside Ireland’s Biggest Prison - Series
This full access series takes us inside the Midland’s Prison in Portlaoise, Ireland’s Biggest Prison, to meet the prisoners and those responsible for keeping them behind bars.
Inside James’s – Series
St James’s Hospital is Ireland’s biggest University Teaching Hospital – we spend a year inside with patients and staff as they navigate sickness, health, life and death.
Revolting Ireland – Series
This irreverent history series casts an eye over Ireland’s protest past. From the 1913 lockout to the abortion referendum, Simon Delaney takes us on a potted history of all things protest.
The Town – Series
We spend a year in one of Ireland’s fastest growing towns, Portlaoise, following families going through the highs and lows of modern Irish life.
Throwback – Series
In a series of 20 half hours we chronicle the news and highlights of the last 20 years in this archive and music-based series.
Doctor in the House – Series
Doctor in the House returns for a fourth series. Each week a team of doctors and medical professionals assess a different household and identify risks and problem areas that are having a serious, and in some cases, detrimental effect on their health. They will follow that household everywhere – at home, at work, at school, at the pub. Wherever they go, a doctor – white coat and clipboard in hand – is looking over their shoulder taking notes and evaluating their lifestyle. After which, the doctors deliver their eye-opening predicted prognosis. But, even when faced with life or death, can a household break the bad habits of a lifetime.
Channel Hop: The TV3 Story
To mark 20 years of independent TV broadcasting we look back at the history of TV3 and its story through two decades with key players and the stations best-loved faces.
Getting Away with Murder
20 years on from her disappearance what really happened to Fiona Sinnott? Her family, friends, detectives and the wider community tell the chilling story of her disappearance and what they know.
Marking 20 years of Commercial broadcasting in Ireland a special programme: Gogglebox Does TV3
Ireland’s most outspoken TV viewers give their opinions on TV3.
Donncha O’Callaghan’s Sporting Afterlife: True Lives
As he retires Donncha O’Callaghan documents the transition from international sports star to retiree and meets some of Ireland’s biggest sporting legends who have gone before him.
Paedophile Hunters: True Lives
Embedded with Ireland’s paedophile hunters we follow their activities as they pursue Irish paedophiles trying to communicate with kids online.
Ireland’s Youngest Grandparents: True Lives
In this two-part documentary we follow young grandparents across Ireland to discover whether it is a nightmare to see your child follow in your footsteps and become a young parent or a blessing to have a new baby in the family while you still have the youth and energy to enjoy it.
Back to the Future: True Lives
David McWilliams delves into Ireland’s economic growth to find out are we repeating the mistakes of the past and who’s boom is it anyway?
Ireland’s Jihadis: True Lives
The extraordinary tale of Ireland’s Jihadis told by Paul Williams.
Irish Feature Films:
A Date for Mad Mary – Feature Film
This critically acclaimed Irish gem received rave reviews from movie goers and film critics alike and will receive its world TV premiere on Virgin Media Television this Autumn. Mad Mary tells the story of a young woman who has been recently released from a short spell in prison, only to face an even tougher task, finding a plus one to a friend’s wedding. It’s a tough and tender story about friendship, first love, and letting go of the glory days.
Black 47 – Feature Film
Black 47 is set against the backdrop of the Great Irish Famine (1845-1852). It tells the story of a young Connaught Ranger who returns from fighting for the British Army in Afghanistan to find his own country ravaged by famine and discovers that his family have been thrown off their land and starved. He sets about finding those responsible, and blazes a trail of death and destruction through the land. When an old army Comrade is given the unenviable task of stopping his murderous spree, the stage is set for bloodshed and mayhem that will test both men to their limits and beyond.