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14.44 9 Jan 2018


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TV3 has announced plans to re-brand as Virgin Media Television.

The group's managing-director, Pat Kiely, made the announcement as it launched its new schedule in Dublin.

A spokesperson for TV3 said the channels will be re-named, with details to be announced down the line.

They added that there is no concrete timeline as to when this would happen, but that the re-brand will take place in 2018.

The new spring schedule will see the arrival of Ireland's Got Talent, the NatWest 6 Nations, the return of Red Rock, The Restaurant and the extension of The Tonight Show with Matt Cooper and Ivan Yates to four nights a week.

Ireland's Got Talent will be presented by Lucy Kennedy with judges Louis Walsh, Michelle Visage, Jason Byrne and Denise Van Outen embarking on the nation's largest ever talent search.

Also announced was a spin-off show - Ireland's Got Mór Talent - to air following the main show on TV3 presented by Glenda Gilson and social media personality James Kavanagh.

TV3 re-branded UTV Ireland as be3 in December 2016 | Image: Sean Defoe 

Hosted by Off the Ball's Joe Molloy, the 6 Nations coverage will include panellists Ronan O'Gara, Shane Horgan, Alan Quinlan, Shane Jennings and Matt Williams.

Coverage kicks off with Wales v Scotland, followed by Ireland's first match of the tournament against France in the Stade de France.

Pat Kenny returns for a fourth series with a live studio audience on The Pat Kenny Show.

While The Tonight Show is back for another season with Matt Cooper and Ivan Yates. TV3 says due to the success of the show, it is being extended from three nights a week to four.

Director of programming, Bill Malone, said: "2017 was a year of records and firsts for TV3 Group as we delivered our best ever share of viewing.
"Now we aim to build on this great momentum with our most ambitious spring schedule.

"2018 promises to be a landmark year of big events and quality Irish content on TV3.

"They don't come much bigger than rugby's greatest championship, the NatWest 6 Nations and the world's biggest entertainment format, Ireland's Got Talent.

"It will also be a year which will see us distribute our content in new and exciting ways as part of Ireland's number one connected entertainment business, Virgin Media."

The commercial broadcaster, which is owned by Virgin Media, acquired UTV Ireland back in December 2016 and changed the channel to be3.

Virgin Media, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liberty Global, bought TV3 for €80m back in 2015.


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