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mr_vivian1,000 posts since 11 Oct 2015
UTV Newsline
Well ITV 2 isn't on any satellite platforms in ROI, it can be tuned in manually of course, but the majority of viewers wouldn't know or care about that, they just watch what they have available to them.


Or if they have freesat they don't even need to tune it in manually.
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rdd3,302 posts since 21 Jun 2001
Alas when Virgin Media took over UTV Ireland they dropped ITV2 from their line up on the basis most of its prime time programmes could be seen on what was then still 3e. They are still the only large Irish pay TV company to carry any ITV channels, as ITV3&4 are still part of their line up.
JKDerry1,588 posts since 15 Oct 2016
UTV Newsline
Virgin Media Ireland I believe offer just ITV 3 and ITV 4 and I was told that sports coverage on both channels are blocked by Virgin Media due to "rights", however when Sky Ireland customers tune in those channels on their Sky box, they can view all sport without any blocking, racing, darts, football etc.

Sky Ireland offer "UK and Irish Favourites" which maybe limited, but with the addition of tuning in the other stations, it makes Sky very attractive. BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four, CBBC, CBeebies, Channel 4, E4, More4 and Film4 are offered on their Irish E.P.G.

I always wondered by BBC Studios never offered BBC News on the selection, whereas they offer it and BBC World News on Virgin Media. Anyone know why?
rdd3,302 posts since 21 Jun 2001
Virgin Media Ireland I believe offer just ITV 3 and ITV 4 and I was told that sports coverage on both channels are blocked by Virgin Media due to "rights", however when Sky Ireland customers tune in those channels on their Sky box, they can view all sport without any blocking, racing, darts


I’m not sure the blocking goes on any more. When I was with them (four years ago now) it was the case, yes. But I’m led to believe it either doesn’t happen at all now or is much rarer. There was rarely sport on ITV3 in those days, of course.

Sky customers can see all those of course because the channels are free to air. Sky’s official line is that it has no control over what customers do with the Other Channels / Manual Tuning facility. There are now channels on the Irish EPG, the Irish versions of which are encrypted (so that individual programmes may be blocked) but this can be circumvented easily by tuning the UK version via Other Channels/Manual Tuning.

I’ve no idea why BBC News Channel is not made available on Sky in Ireland, but I presume it’s becuase Sky may not want it (competing with Sky News) while the BBC don’t care either way. The fact that both BBC News Channel and BBC World News are available on Virgin is an oddity, but an even bigger one is that to this very day, the BBC News Channel is still labelled “BBC News 24” (albeit Horizon customers won’t see this because logos are used instead).
JKDerry1,588 posts since 15 Oct 2016
UTV Newsline
Virgin Media Ireland I believe offer just ITV 3 and ITV 4 and I was told that sports coverage on both channels are blocked by Virgin Media due to "rights", however when Sky Ireland customers tune in those channels on their Sky box, they can view all sport without any blocking, racing, darts


I’m not sure the blocking goes on any more. When I was with them (four years ago now) it was the case, yes. But I’m led to believe it either doesn’t happen at all now or is much rarer. There was rarely sport on ITV3 in those days, of course.

Sky customers can see all those of course because the channels are free to air. Sky’s official line is that it has no control over what customers do with the Other Channels / Manual Tuning facility. There are now channels on the Irish EPG, the Irish versions of which are encrypted (so that individual programmes may be blocked) but this can be circumvented easily by tuning the UK version via Other Channels/Manual Tuning.

I’ve no idea why BBC News Channel is not made available on Sky in Ireland, but I presume it’s becuase Sky may not want it (competing with Sky News) while the BBC don’t care either way. The fact that both BBC News Channel and BBC World News are available on Virgin is an oddity, but an even bigger one is that to this very day, the BBC News Channel is still labelled “BBC News 24” (albeit Horizon customers won’t see this because logos are used instead).

BBC News Channel is also available on the broadband TV providers of Vodafone Ireland and Eir TV, it is only Sky which does not have it on their EPG.


I understand why they wouldn't put BBC Parliament on it, minute ratings, even here in the UK, so it would be pointless. However BBC News would be a great channel to have on Sky EPG and they never bothered.

I had a response from the BBC on this once back in 2016 when I emailed about this on behalf of a family friend in Dublin, and they said that since Irish viewers can tune in all BBC television and radio stations on Sky boxes in Ireland, it was not "cost effective" to have BBC News on the EPG. I have a feeling Sky upped the cost of the channel number.

We have to remember, the only reason the BBC have channels on the Irish EPG of Sky is a joint venture between the BBC commercial arm, BBC Studios and Sky, so a money matter, sharing carriage money, and thus they decided not to bother putting it on the EPG.
rdd3,302 posts since 21 Jun 2001
When the deal was originally done way back in 2001, BBC channels were still encrypted on satellite (there was no Freesat, only the “FTV card” scheme). It originally only covered BBC One NI and BBC Two NI and the other channels only appeared on the Irish EPG years later - 2011 for BBC Three, Four, CBBC and CBeebies.
JKDerry1,588 posts since 15 Oct 2016
UTV Newsline
When the deal was originally done way back in 2001, BBC channels were still encrypted on satellite (there was no Freesat, only the “FTV card” scheme). It originally only covered BBC One NI and BBC Two NI and the other channels only appeared on the Irish EPG years later - 2011 for BBC Three, Four, CBBC and CBeebies.

What about Channel 4 and the other channels from Channel 4? When did they come onto Sky in Ireland? Someone said ITV3 and ITV4 were part of the Irish EPG until around 2006.
rdd3,302 posts since 21 Jun 2001
ITV3 and 4 were never on the Irish Sky EPG.

But...

ITV3 joined what was still NTL on the day it launched, taking over from Granada Plus, as it did on some UK platforms. In 2006 it was very abruptly pulled (the platform was now Chorus NTL at that point) and didn’t return to what had become UPC until 2010. To this day the reason it was abruptly pulled remains a mystery.

As for Channel 4. Its channels were always available on cable here (some areas of the south and south east got S4C instead up until digital came along). From what I remember E4, Film4 were always available on Sky from the day they launched but C4 itself originally was not. It launched on Sky in 2006. An oddity is that the version on the Irish EPG is encrypted to allow programmes to be blocked (the same applies to FreeSports, strangely enough) but I have never encountered a blocked programme, seemingly it was more common in the early years.

One more thing. S4C was available on Sky in Ireland from the day it launched, but got pulled off the EPG last year. I have no idea why a Welsh language channel were paying to be on the Sky EPG on Ireland, and seemingly only threats from eir Sport drove them off.
Last edited by rdd on 21 February 2019 7:13am
JKDerry1,588 posts since 15 Oct 2016
UTV Newsline
ITV3 and 4 were never on the Irish Sky EPG.

But...

ITV3 joined what was still NTL on the day it launched, taking over from Granada Plus, as it did on some UK platforms. In 2006 it was very abruptly pulled (the platform was now Chorus NTL at that point) and didn’t return to what had become UPC until 2010. To this day the reason it was abruptly pulled remains a mystery.

As for Channel 4. Its channels were always available on cable here (some areas of the south and south east got S4C instead up until digital came along). From what I remember E4, Film4 were always available on Sky from the day they launched but C4 itself originally was not. It launched on Sky in 2006. An oddity is that the version on the Irish EPG is encrypted to allow programmes to be blocked (the same applies to FreeSports, strangely enough) but I have never encountered a blocked programme, seemingly it was more common in the early years.

One more thing. S4C was available on Sky in Ireland from the day it launched, but got pulled off the EPG last year. I have no idea why a Welsh language channel were paying to be on the Sky EPG on Ireland, and seemingly only threats from eir Sport drove them off.

Sorry, ITV3 and ITV4 were on the Irish Sky EPG, I have it confirmed from family who live in County Donegal and got Sky in 2005. They had ITV3 and ITV4 until 2006.