TV3 is committed to commissioning 15% of its broadcasting from the domestic independent sector, rising to 25% over five years. TV3 has already commissioned programmes from a number of producers and has released details of two of its new programmes from the independent sector.
Last week the station announced that 'Speakeasy', an afternoon talk show, produced by Fastnet Productions, would be one of its more prominent programmes and 'Messrs Tylak and Rooney', a 26 part comic travel show which is billed as "an alternative view of what's on throughout Ireland" is the second independent production, to be made by Belfast company Brian Waddel Productions.
According to The Sunday Business Post the initial Broadcast schedule, when TV3 goes on air on September 21, will include seven independently produced programmes; Messers Tylak and Rooney, Speakeasy, one current affairs programme, two music shows and a children's programme. TV3's coverage of the Republic of Ireland's away matches in the 2000 European Championships, to which it has exclusive rights, will also be produced by the independent sector.
There is a good chance that programmes commissioned by TV3 will be distributed abroad, considering CanWest's large involvement in TV3. CanWest owns stations in Canada, New Zealand and Australia and the Irish station will be using a great deal of programming produced by independent producers for other CanWest operations, particularly in the area of children's television, to keep it's programming budget down. This is a policy which will probably operate both ways, giving increased opportunity to independent Irish producers. If Irish producers can come up with product that has appeal not just here, but in other CanWest operation areas, at a reasonable cost, the chances are that commissioning levels could rise significantly with this additional outlet.
Michael McMahon 20/8/98