23 March 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
Virgin Media Player to undergo revamp as VMTV launches its Spring 2021 Schedule
15 Jan 2021 : News Desk
Virgin Media Television
Virgin Media Television (VMTV) has announced details of its Spring 2021 TV schedule with a major revamp of the Virgin Media Player, expanded News and Current Affairs coverage, brand new entertainment shows, top class free-to-air sport, and a selection of international drama and entertainment.

This spring sees Virgin Media Player introduce a brand new 90 day catch up window for all VMTV programmes. The player is being revamped and will offer viewers a wide-ranging choice of free online content from live TV and sport, crime drama box sets like The Pembrokeshire Murders and The Bay series - all premiering first on Virgin Media’s free Player.

VMTV has also revealed it will expand its News and Current Affairs output with The Tonight Show moving from three to four nights a week with Ciara Doherty and Matt Cooper at the helm, deconstructing the news and stories that have the country talking.

Entertainment and escapism are top of the agenda as Kite Entertainment launch a new series of Gogglebox Ireland. Ivan Yates returns with his new weekly entertainment sports show, The Green Room, kicking off this week with the former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch. Other guests that will feature include Jamie Redknapp and Shane Lowry.

Animo TV’s new programme Eating With The Enemy launches in March. This new provocative format sees strangers with extreme opposite views paired together for a meal to see what happens when they come face to face. They may disagree on paper, but can the act of honest conversation and breaking bread, forming unlikely bonds in this new social experiment.

The highly anticipated TV premiere of Finding Jack Charlton airs in March. Filmed during the last eighteen months of the late sporting hero’s life, this emotional and inspiring documentary looks at one of Ireland’s biggest football icons and details his undocumented life with dementia, offering an intimate and compelling insight into Jack the man and the challenge faced by thousands of families universally, with contributions from Jack’s family including his wife Pat and son John.

New 24-Hour Pet Emergency will offer viewers an insight into the Veterinary Hospital in UCD, where we’ll meet sick animals and their desperate owners as they look for cures for their beloved pets. From a paralysed dog who finally gets the chance to walk again to a parrot who needs a magnet retrieved from its stomach, no two days are ever the same at the Vet Hospital. 

Crash Scene Investigates is a four-part series telling real-life stories of Irish car crashes, how they happened, and the long-term impact they caused. The new series will deconstruct and re-tell the stories of shocking Irish road incidents with contributions from bereaved families, first-responders, Garda, and forensic investigators.

VMTV will continue to deliver an impressive selection of live free-to-air sport with the best of European football, international rugby, and the biggest and best horse racing meetings from across the water. With the Guinness Six Nations kicking off in February, Virgin Media One will have live coverage of every game, as well as the Heineken Champions Cup. The knock-out stages of the UEFA Champions League and Europa League begin next month with all games exclusively live on Virgin Media Sport.

Supporting and championing the Irish film and television sector has been a key strategy of Virgin Media and the 10 shortlisted projects, which will receive funding as part of the Virgin Media Discovers & Screen Ireland Short Film Competition with a prize fund of some €150,000, were also announced.

The shortlisted projects will receive development funding, and the two winning short films will feature in the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival programme in 2021 and will be broadcast on Virgin Media Television and Virgin Media On Demand.

“Following on from a very strong performance in the second half of last year which saw significant audience growth, VMTV has a great spring schedule to kick start 2021,” said Bill Malone, Virgin Media Television’s Director of Content. “Trusted news and information has never been more important and we are expanding our News and Current Affairs output, as The Tonight Show goes to four nights a week.”

“Irish programming is at the heart of the schedule. Gogglebox Ireland is back, as is Ivan Yates in The Green Room, along with a host of new series such as 24-Hour Pet Emergency, Crash Scene Investigates, and Eating With The Enemy,” Malone continued.

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