I do think you overestimate the people tuning in to the UK channels. Only about 10% of viewers find the HD channel when it's on the EPG
so if they have to tune in to it it's going to be even less, barely significant I'd have though.
Not at all, There are 30% of households using FTA Sat systems in the republic. They're a mix of SKY boxes without subscription, Freesat Boxes and then Off the shelf FTA Sat Boxes. Almost all of those households would regularly tune into ITV HD rather than TV3 SD or UTV Ireland SD on Saorview. ITV4 HD would never have been available to them as no subscription would have been paid, but the picture on ITV4 SD is substantially better still that TV3 SD on Saorview. Then you have to take into account all those that have SKY boxes with a subscription. I don't think I've ever been in a house where ITV isn't tuned into other channels (and has been for years and years) On top of that those that watch sport tend to look for the best picture available. (In my experience, I might move in the wrong circles
That's not even taking into account those households that can still get UTV or ITV Wales via Freeview. ITV/UTV Ulster is freely available to about 65% of the population in the Republic. Down from 90% this time last year but still a huge section of the Public.
There are even 4% of the population in the republic with no Irish TV services but have UK services via either Freesat or Freeview.
UK TV stations have a 55-60% Total share of the Irish TV Market depending on the month.
It was interesting to see the collapse of interest in the rugby in Ireland in real terms once Ireland left the stage. When you compare Ireland's Game against France against the Final of the Tournament (Both afternoon kick offs) TV3 lost 2/3's of it's audience.