UTV Ireland announced (March 18th 2015) that it expects a full-year loss of about £6m (€8.35m) from its newest television channel, UTV Ireland, up from an expected loss of £3m. The company said the increase is due to delayed negotiations with advertisers and slower than expected audience build. This undoubtedly has increased pressure on the man at the top John McCann but let us take a moment to look at St. Patrick's Day for UTV Ireland.
UTV Ireland's contribution to the national holiday was their regular two news bulletins at 6.30pm and 10pm both of which are already struggling to get traction in the ratings. Their movie at 11pm was about an 'Irish' woman in the UK titled 'Felicia's Journey' which was released in 1999 and was not exactly a box office smash. So what about the competition?
RTE One led the way with an entire evening (prime time 6pm - Midnight)of domestically produced programming. TG 4, TV 3 and 3e all had Irish themed nights with the exception of TV3's Champions League coverage. The smaller Irish TV broadcast live a two hour show from Armagh to celebrate the national day.
BBC2 Northern Ireland went Irish from 9 - 10.30pm while UTV Ireland sister station UTV broadcast 'St Patricks Day' from 10.40 - 11.10, a programme not made available on UTV Ireland. The only channel with less 'Irish TV' during prime time was RTE 2 which stuck to its regular Tuesday Schedule.
This may be the source of UTV Ireland problems in connecting with an audience south of the border.
For further reading see http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/television/tv-reviews/st-patricks-day-tv-if-this-is-the-best-irish-tv-can-do-in-2015-we-deserve-to-be-stereotyped-31076239.html