RTÉ Television and Betfair today announced a two year exclusive deal which will see the betting company run their TV adverts 'In-Vision' across 46 days of televised Irish racing on the national broadcaster until 2014.
The adverts, which air during the program itself, first appeared on screen during the recent Leopardstown Christmas Festival and are a first for an advertiser on RTÉ Television. The activity will cover all RTÉ Racing television coverage including major festivals in Punchestown and Galway plus the Irish Classics from the Curragh during the Flat Season.
Betfair Spokesman Barry Orr commented today:
"Placement on TV is becoming increasingly important and In-Vision gives us the edge over our competitors by placing our message in the closest possible position before the race starts. By pioneering this innovative format in the Irish market we're confident that Betfair's unique proposition can achieve the desired cut through and ensure greater resonance with our target audience''
Dermot Rigley, Cross Media Manager, RTÉ Sport commented
"This was a significant milestone for advertising in Ireland and an exciting innovation and a first for RTÉ to launch split screen or 'In Vision' commercials within a programme. The viewer is more receptive to ads in shorter breaks. As well as maintaining viewership through the break, this type of innovation is shown to increase the 'likeability' and viewing experience to ad breaks all of which can lead to effective cut through for the advertiser on RTÉ"
Marc Tanguy of MediaVest said
"As an agency MediaVest are consistently looking to pioneer fresh and innovative media platforms that can achieve cut through for our clients in an increasingly cluttered environment. In-Vision is a perfect example of this. We are bringing a unique TV format to the Irish market for the very first time and we are confident that it will give Betfair the edge over their competitors by achieving greater resonance with the target audience".
At eircom Spiders', Bank of Ireland's All About Business scooped three awards including the overall Grand Prix. The Grand Prix rounded off a hat trick of wins for Bank of Ireland who's SME and entrepreneurial portal All About Business won the Financial Services category, Best Campaign for their Dragons' Den sponsorship activation with the latter also picking up the Grand Prix.
The Dragons' Den activation included Ireland's first live Simulcast game for the show (the Sixth Dragon) which viewers could play on desktop and mobile, as the television show was broadcast on RTÉ. Viewers could play along at home, opting in or out of deals, equity percentages and were awarded points if the Dragons' made similar decisions. The game was also integrated with Facebook and AllAboutBusiness.ie website allowing fans to share game information and access valuable SME & Entrepreneurial content.
Speaking about the Dragons' Den game Carolan Lennon Chair of the Judging Panel said "We absolutely loved that, we thought it was really clever, really innovative and I think it's something that we'll see more shows doing going forward".
The All About Business portal, from Bank of Ireland, won the Financial Services category. All About Business supports the crucial work of the SME community by providing key resources: information, education, financial advice and networking opportunities. Online, the bank does this through the 'All About Business' website. It's the fastest-growing online SME community in Ireland featuring dynamic, exclusive interactive content. The site also leverages other sponsorships, including the bank's own National Enterprise Week, to curate 'buzz' surrounding events and allow SMEs to 'own' the dialogue.
Pictured at the MasterChef sponsorship announcement were (L-R): Glen Killane, Managing Director, RTÉ Television; Nick Munier, Masterchef Judge; Dermot Rigley, Cross-Media Manager, RTÉ; Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline; Eddie Doyle, Commissioning Editor, RTÉ Two; Dylan McGrath, Masterchef Judge; Geraldine O'Leary, Commercial Director, RTÉ Television; Tonyia Dowling, Assistant Commissioning Editor, RTÉ Two; Larry Bass, CEO, Shinawil.
Emirates put the spotlight on its catering capabilities as it announced its newest sponsorship in Ireland.
Emirates has been unveiled as the sole sponsor of RTÉ's MasterChef Ireland, ahead of the much-anticipated return of the award-winning culinary programme to TV screens on RTÉ Two in October.
Once again, successful MasterChef applicants will attempt to impress Michelin-starred chef Dylan McGrath and top restaurateur Nick Munier, while being put through a series of intense and highly pressurised tasks and challenges, which will test their culinary skills to the limit.
Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline said,
"Our sponsorship of MasterChef is a great way to directly involve our brand with a spirited, culinary competition of an extraordinary calibre. "At Emirates we offer all of our customers a unique experience on board and our award-winning cuisine is an integral part of this overall experience, whether in the air or on the ground in our Business Lounges. Our catering team prepares and serves 115,000 fresh meals every day, ensuring that we provide a choice of menus to cater for all of our international customers and their different tastes and requirements. We like to think that we know a thing or two about fine food, so this is a really strong partnership for Emirates."
Glen Killane, Managing Director of Television at RTÉ also welcomed the announcement, saying,
"I'm delighted that Emirates has come on board as the title sponsor to the hugely successful MasterChef Ireland which returns to our screens on RTÉ Two in October. The Emirates brand is synonymous with superlative standards, as is MasterChef Ireland, so we are delighted to have been able to bring together two such high-end brands in this partnership."
A real ratings success story for RTÉ Two, MasterChef Ireland was gobbled up by Irish viewers when it first aired last autumn, attracting an average of over a quarter of a million viewers per episode. It also received four Irish Film & TV Awards (IFTA) nominations, including best director for Lynda McQuaid and best entertainment programme for Larry Bass of ShinAwil, the production company behind the programme. This year, the new series will run from October to December on RTÉ Two.
In addition to adverts throughout all programmes, pre-rolls, mid-rolls and website banners, the sponsorship deal will include an Emirates-dedicated task, challenging contestants to prepare and cook a First Class meal with produce that will work at altitude. This is a first for the programme and an intriguing task for the participants.
The Emirates judges will be Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline and Robin Padgett, Vice President, Aircraft Catering. Tim Clark appears in an episode entitled 'The Chefs Table' where he will join seven, highly acclaimed Michelin-starred Irish chefs in judging a group of four finalists in highly pressurised conditions. Mr Clark was in Dublin this weekend to film the episode.
RTÉ announced it will offer up to 2,300 hours of coverage of the 2012 London Olympics across RTÉ Television, RTÉ Radio and RTÉ Digital beginning with the opening ceremony on Friday 27 July and running until the closing day on Sunday 12 August.
The 2012 London Olympics will see RTÉ.ie offer users up to 12 high-definition video streams with RTÉ Television broadcasting in excess of 12 hours of HD coverage each day while RTÉ Radio will feature coverage across five of its stations.
RTÉ Two will feature over 225 hours of television coverage over the 17 days of the games, bringing viewers all of the action in high definition throughout the games on RTÉ Two HD, expert analysis on all of the main events with a particular focus on the progress of the Irish Olympians.
Some of Ireland's biggest sporting stars and former Olympians will join RTÉ's team of analysts this year; Kenneth Egan joins Bernard Dunne, Michael Carruth and Mick Dowling for boxing, David Gillick and Ailis McSweeney join Jerry Kiernan, Dave Matthews and Victor Costello for athletics, while Andrew Bree joins Gary O'Toole and Earl McCarthy to provide analysis for swimming. Former Olympian's Neville Maxwell (rowing) and Ian Wiley (canoe slalom) will also add their expertise in their respective sports.
With 14 sports represented in the most diverse Irish team in Olympic history, RTÉ will be focused on the achievements of the Irish athletes competing in athletics, badminton, boxing, canoeing, cycling, equestrian, gymnastics, judo, modern pentathlon, rowing, sailing, shooting, swimming and triathlon.
Each day, the coverage will begin on RTÉ Two with London Olympics 2012 at 9.30am as Peter Collins presents live action from London as it unfolds up until 1.00pm including the athletics and swimming heats. Following this, Michael Lyster (weekdays) and Tracy Piggott (weekends) present continuing coverage of live action from 1.00pm-4.00pm and will be joined by some of Ireland's top sporting names for analysis of a range of events including boxing and road cycling. Darragh Maloney will anchor coverage on London 2012 Olympics from 4.00pm-7.00pm featuring regular Olympic News Reports and updates on the Irish as well as plenty of live action including gymnastics, boxing, track cycling finals and basketball featuring the US dream team.
Each evening from 7pm Bill O'Herlihy, presenting coverage of his 10th Olympics, will provide further live action including the swimming, athletics and boxing finals along with discussion and analysis of the major issues of the day with RTÉ's top team of analysts.
RTÉ's Television commentary team includes Jimmy Magee commentating on his 12th Olympics, George Hamilton at his 9th Olympic Games, Tony O'Donoghue, John Kenny, Hugh Cahill, Ryle Nugent, Stephen Alkin, Nick O'Hare, Robert Hall, Ger Canning, Myles Dungan and Tim McCarthy. Reporters Marty Morrissey, John Kenny and Clare MacNamara will be in London while Daire O'Brien and Aidan Kelly will provide updates on all of the breaking stories. View our Olympic Advertising packages Here
RTÉ Sport have unveiled their extensive 2012 GAA Championship coverage across RTÉ Television, RTÉ Radio and RTÉ.ie.
This year RTÉ's unrivalled and top quality GAA coverage will be further strengthened by the broadcast of 13 games in high definition (HD) and the arrival of new signings Eddie Brennan and Martin McHugh to The Sunday Game panel along with the welcome return of analysts Ger Loughnane and Donal O'Grady. This season will also see Marty Morrissey present a new GAA discussion show, Championship Matters.
RTÉ Television will broadcast a comprehensive package of 31 live games, including a record 13 matches in high definition on RTÉ Two HD, across this summer's GAA Championships including both the All-Ireland Football and Hurling Championship finals, all of the semi-finals, and four of this year's quarter-finals. The Leinster football and hurling finals will be broadcast live on RTÉ Two as well as the Munster Senior Hurling Final on July 15th.
Now in its 34th year, Ireland's premier GAA television programme, The Sunday Game, will return on Sunday, May 20th with presenter Des Cahill in the chair. The Sunday Game will feature highlights of over 90 matches this season as well as two LIVE audience shows in September.
As the big games approach this Summer, every GAA fan will be able to kick off their weekend early, with RTÉ Two's new Thursday evening Gaelic Games series. Championship Matters will tap into the pride and passion of the inter-county Summer with a lively mix of opinion, analysis and argument. Star names and expert observers will digest the unfolding events of the GAA championships and offer an entertaining and engaging take on the competition and its controversies. Hosted by Marty Morrissey, the series debuts on Thursday 31st May on RTÉ Two.
RTÉ's Fair City will be available on the RTÉ Player and RTÉ One+1, commencing with the episode broadcasting on Tuesday, 1st May, 2012. Tuesday's episode will be available on the RTÉ Player, shortly after broadcast across the island of Ireland. There is provision in the agreement for twenty-one day catch-up.
The period of the current agreement is for two years, up to the 30th of April, 2014.
Fair City will be available on the RTÉ Player - www.rte.ie/player - online, on mobile via iphone, on iPad and iPod Touch, plus on notebooks, PS3 and on desktops. It will also be available on RTÉ One + 1 on both SAORVIEW and UPC.
RTÉ Sport announced today (30th April, 2012) that it has retained the rights to broadcast the Champions League on Wednesday nights from September 2012 until 2015.
RTÉ has secured the premium package of exclusive Irish terrestrial rights to Wednesday night matches with exclusive coverage of the UEFA Champions League Final and the UEFA Super Cup, amounting to eighteen live matches on RTÉ Two and RTÉ Two HD per season. Wednesday night highlights and a weekly magazine programme are also part of the package. Coverage on RTÉ.ie will include live simulcasts plus clip rights of Wednesday night matches with rights secured for coverage on RTÉ.ie mobile also.
Ryle Nugent, Group Head of Sport, RTÉ, said today:
"We are delighted to have been able to secure these rights in the current difficult financial climate in line with our policy of significantly reducing sports rights costs. We're particularly delighted to be able to continue to deliver UEFA Champions League live coverage to fans in Ireland until 2015. In an increasingly competitive climate securing the premium package for Wednesday night matches is a significant coup for a public service broadcaster.
This is good news for Irish sports fans and means that all Champions League first choice matches continue to be free for Irish audiences for the next three years. It also means that RTÉ Sport will be able to continue to bring our viewers top quality coverage of Wednesday night matches, including the final, with our hugely popular team of pundits and presenters.
And the good news continues with an unbeatable summer of sport on RTÉ with the GAA Hurling and Football Championships, Euro 2012, the European Athletics Championships, racing from Galway, Leopardstown and the Curragh, the Irish Open, the Horse Show and the Olympics and Paralympics 2012 - all on RTÉ throughout this summer."
The RBS 6 Nations action kicked off at the weekend with live coverage across Saturday and Sunday on RTÉ Two. Both France and England started their 2012 campaign with wins but Ireland have it all to play for after a last-minute penalty saw them losing their opening clash against Wales.
On the back of the Rugby World Cup late last year, interest in Irish rugby remains high and Sunday's game against Wales saw record viewing figures with almost 650,000 people watching the coverage of Sunday's match from the Aviva Stadium on RTÉ Two (based on Individuals 4+ / Live + VOSDAL / 647,600). Only 1 RBS 6 Nations game in 2011 attracted a higher audience, Ireland's last game of the tournament against England on 19th March. It was watched by 689,200 people (based on Individuals 4+ / Consolidated).
Sunday's match between Ireland and Wales achieved average ratings of 21.12 for Men and 23.23 for Men ABC1, making it the highest-rating programme for both demographics this year to-date, across all channels (Based on Live + VOSDAL / any day, any time, best episode).
The earlier match on Sunday also saw record viewing figures. Aside from the 5 Irish games, which are traditionally the highest-rating 6 Nations games, the highest audience achieved last year was for the very last game of the tournament between France and Wales, with an average consolidated audience of 299,600 viewers. The coverage of the Scotland v England game which ran from 4.50 – 7.00pm on RTÉ Two on Saturday was watched by an average audience of 332,600 (Live + VOSDAL). A third of all Men watching TV at the time were watching the match on RTÉ Two.
There'll be lots more rugby action this weekend on RTÉ Two, the home of Sport for Irish audiences!
To read more about our RBS 6 Nations Championship 2012 packages on offer, Click here *Limited Availability*
RTÉ Sport announced details of its comprehensive coverage of this year's RBS 6 Nations, which sees the tournament being broadcast in HD for the first time in Ireland. All 15 RBS 6 Nations matches will be broadcast in HD free-to-air on RTÉ Two HD on SAORVIEW.
RTÉ Sport will deliver extensive coverage of RBS 6 Nations 2012 including:
• All 15 matches across the five weekends of the tournament broadcast live on RTÉ Two television and on RTÉ Two HD on SAORVIEW.
• All of Ireland's matches broadcast live on RTÉ Radio 1, FM, LW, DAB and online.
• All 15 matches will be streamed live on RTÉ.ie within the island of Ireland.
Ryle Nugent, Group Head of Sport RTÉ, said: "We are proud to announce the HD broadcast of the RBS 6 Nations for the first time on RTÉ Two HD on SAORVIEW. RTÉ constantly strives to deliver the big competitions and offer the Irish public the broadest choice of options across all our platforms to follow, enjoy and get involved with the RBS 6 Nations."
RTÉ's unrivalled team of presenters and panellists will be providing their expert analysis and opinion at every stage of the tournament. On RTÉ Two television, Irish International and Leinster's Shane Horgan will join the panel for the first time on the RBS 6 Nations.
Anchorman Tom McGurk will also be joined by George Hook, Brent Pope, Conor O'Shea and Donal Lenihan with Clare MacNamara reporting from the Irish camp while the commentary team of Ryle Nugent, Tony Ward, George Hamilton, Hugh Cahill, Ralph Keyes and Frankie Sheahan bring you all the action on the field.
To read more about our RBS 6 Nations Championship 2012 packages on offer, Click here *Limited Availability*
RTÉ Sport, Horse Racing Ireland and the Association of Irish Racecourses announced today (Wednesday, 7 December) that they have agreed a new broadcasting deal for live coverage of Irish horse racing for the next two years ensuring that Irish racing fans will enjoy the most prestigious days in the Irish racing calendar free-to-air on RTÉ Television up until 2013.
RTÉ Television will broadcast 23 days of live Irish racing coverage each year for the next two years, featuring the great racing days of all the major festivals, with live television coverage also simulcast on RTÉ.ie within the Republic of Ireland.
The major festivals including Punchestown, Galway and the Christmas Festival at Leopardstown will be broadcast live, as well as the biggest races of the year: the Ladbrokes Irish Grand National, Hennessy Gold Cup, Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes and the blue-riband event of the flat season, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.
Ryle Nugent, Group Head of Sport, RTÉ said; "This new agreement is a statement of intent for RTÉ underlining our commitment to Irish racing. Irish horse racing coverage continues to be a priority for us and is an important part of our public service broadcasting remit. In addition to our live television coverage there will also continue to be extensive coverage of Irish racing on RTÉ Radio sport programming and RTÉ.ie will continue to provide all the latest news, race-cards and results. We look forward to bringing the public all the very best action and excitement in Irish racing. "
Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland (HRI), said, "Irish Horse Racing has a long and successful relationship with RTÉ and it very good news for everyone associated with racing that this will continue. The level of coverage agreed in this deal is a testament to the enduring popularity of racing and the way that RTÉ has covered its top meetings over the years. We look forward to closer engagement with RTÉ Sport across TV, Radio and the Web to present and celebrate the successes of our owners, trainers, horses and jockeys in coming years"
John Moloney, Chairman of the Association of Irish Racecourses (AIR) said: "Racing's profile on RTÉ Television is a vital part of its continuing appeal and success, helping racecourses to promote race-going amongst the general public and to attract and retain sponsorship across all business sectors."
Friday night's Toy Story-themed Late Late Toy Show was watched by an average audience of 1,414,300 people1, an increase of almost 7,000 viewers on last year's record-breaking audience of 1,407,700 viewers1. 78% of HK with Kids and 86% of Kids watching TV at the time were watching the programme on RTÉ One, proving its enduring popularity with Irish viewers, both young and old.
The average audience for the Toy Show has grown each year since Ryan Tubridy first hosted it back in 2009. Last year's show was the highest rating Late Late Toy Show since 1994 so to grow the audience again this year is a phenomenal achievement. This year's show attracted significantly more young Adults compared to last year. The average Live + VOSDAL ratings for Adults 15-24 and 15-34 year-olds at 26.40 and 29.67 represented increases of 24% and 14% on the average ratings achieved by the show in 2010.
With an average Adult rating of 33.14, the programme ranks as the highest rating programme on Irish Television this year across all channels.
The consolidated figure for the programme will not be available until Monday 12th December so the average audience for Friday's programme is likely to rise further when that viewing is included.
Source: TAM Ireland Ltd / Nielsen TAM
1 Average 000s / Live + VOSDAL / Individuals 4+ both for 2010 & 2011
RTÉ Television and BWG Foods, owners and operators of the SPAR brand in Ireland, have today announced a first for RTÉ television sponsorship with an agreement to open a SPAR store on the set of Ireland's most popular home-grown soap Fair City. The agreement, which is part of an overall marketing investment of €900,000 over the next three years, will see Christy Phelan's corner shop transformed into a state-of-the-art SPAR store over the coming weeks.
Willie O'Byrne, Managing Director BWG Foods (operators of the SPAR brand),
"SPAR has been an integral part of local Irish communities right across the country for nearly 50 years now, so it seemed only natural that we would extend this presence to one of the best known local towns on Irish television. We're delighted to have reached agreement with RTÉ on what is an innovative and pioneering sponsorship for Irish television - one that will bring the SPAR brand directly to over 500,000 viewers across Ireland four times every week. We look forward to welcoming Christy to under the tree at SPAR."
Suzanne Weldon, Marketing & Communications Director at BWG Foods added,
"This new arrangement with Fair City presents SPAR with a far reaching platform for communicating with its customers in an innovative and entertaining way. This opportunity goes beyond product placement because the SPAR brand will feature as part of the storyline and script and we'll also seek to maximise marketing activity through our network of over 450 retailers. We're all extremely excited about this development and look forward to the on-screen 'store launch' in December."
Speaking at the announcement, Gerry McGuinness of RTE Sponsorship said,
"This is the first high profile product placement agreement for RTÉ and the biggest to date in this territory. It is a perfect example of how creativity and commerce can work harmoniously together to benefit the production process and the brand. When Fair City planned that Christy would renovate the shop and reinvent his life it was a natural opportunity to talk to appropriate retailers about becoming the shop on the Fair City Street. Of course there was huge interest in this proposal as Fair City is the most popular soap on Irish television, attracting over half a million viewers on average per episode this year. We now look forward to the characters shopping at SPAR for the next three years."
Jane Gogan, Commissioning Editor, Drama, RTÉ Television, said:
"RTÉ's partnership with SPAR gives us a great opportunity to develop a new story for one of Fair City's favourite characters, Christy Phelan. The SPAR presence in Carrigstown develops Fair City in the age of product placement with a real world authenticity and brings the creative and commercial imperatives of RTÉ together with SPAR in an interesting and progressive way."
Christy's new SPAR store is set to be unveiled as part of the series on 6th December.
There are 450 SPAR stores operating throughout the Republic of Ireland, providing employment for over 14,000 people locally and supporting many local Irish suppliers around the country. SPAR Ireland, part of the BWG Group, incorporates the three SPAR formats of EUROSPAR for family and supermarket shopping, SPAR for convenience and neighbourhood shopping, and SPAR Express for forecourt shopping.
RTÉ's media and creative partnerships for Carat for the Kellogg's 'Field Of Dreams' and Starcom for SuperValu's Easter campaign have won Gold awards at the 2011 Kinsale Sharks International Advertising Festival.
Now in its 46th year, the festival, which is held each year in September saw over 700 leading creative people from all over the globe attend.
RTÉ worked with Carat to deliver a ground-breaking media & creative partnership in 2010 to promote the Kellogg's 'Field of Dreams Competition'. The Field Of Dreams gave local community sports club or organisations the chance to transform their local playing field by winning a make-over to the value of €100,000.
Three runners-up also received €10,000 each to update their sports facilities. RTÉ delivered a unique media and content partnership across TV, Radio, Digital & Print which helped Kellogg's surpass their campaign objectives, and made it one of the most talked about campaigns of 2010.
The campaign won Gold at the Sharks in the Integrated Media category and has also won awards at The Media Awards, the APMCs, as well as at the Aegis Global Awards.
Following the highly successful partnership with Starcom on SuperValu's Christmas campaign, RTÉ continued its successful partnership with Starcom & SuperValu to create and deliver a campaign which featured Kevin Dundon in a unique series of long format TV spots.
Each commercial featured Kevin Dundon as he visited a number of SuperValu's Irish food suppliers. The commercials gave insight into the workings of each food business and highlighted SuperValu's support for local Irish food, and resultant quality and value for its customers. Cross-media activity across the RTÉ Guide, 2fm, RTÉ.ie supported the theme.
The campaign won a Gold in the Integrated Media category and Silver in the Media Excellence category.
To find out more about RTÉ's creative partnerships and how they could work for your brand, call Gavin McAuliffe on (01) 208 3492 or email Gavin.McAuliffe@rte.ie
Photo, L-R: Aoife Mahon (Offline Marketing Manager, RaboDirect), George Hook, Brent Pope, Dermot Rigley (Cross Media Manager, RTÉ Sport), Daire ÓBrien, Martin O'Leary (Online Marketing Manager, RaboDirect) and Gina McCrudden (Investment Marketing Manager, RaboDirect)
RTÉ has announced today that RaboDirect will sponsor RTÉ Sport's coverage of the RaboDirect PRO12 across RTÉ Television, RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ.ie throughout the 24 weekends of the rugby tournament.
The RaboDirect PRO12, rugby's premier professional club competition in Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales features 12 teams including current Champions Munster, European Champions Leinster, Connacht Rugby, Ulster Rugby, Benetton Treviso Rugby, Aironi Rugby, Edinburgh, Glasgow Warriors, Cardiff Blues, Newport Gwent Dragons, the Ospreys and Scarlets.
RTÉ's coverage begins this Friday 2nd September with highlights of Leinster's opening game of the season against the Ospreys in Wales. This season sees up to 35 live matches set to be broadcast on RTÉ Two television and simulcast on RTÉ.ie with live derby matches on RTÉ Radio 1.
RaboDirect is the online banking arm of Rabobank International Direct Banking. RaboDirect operates in the Republic of Ireland, Belgium, Australia and New Zealand, offering savings accounts, term deposits and managed funds. RaboDirect currently have over 80,000 savings and investment customers in Ireland.
Geraldine O'Leary, Commercial Director, RTÉ Television commented:
"Offering cut-through across all platforms under one brand is RTÉ's unique offering to the market. RaboDirect PRO12 remains on terrestrial free-to-air television and RaboDirect has secured a powerful association with the RaboDirect PRO12 across all of RTÉ's market-leading platforms - RTÉ Television, RTÉ Radio and RTÉ.ie. This partnership is a great endorsement of RTÉ Sport's output and its powerful audience reach and we're delighted to welcome RaboDirect on board"
Roel van Veggel, General Manager of RaboDirect in Ireland said:
"We're thrilled the kick off of the RaboDirect PRO12 season is finally here. No doubt a season which will be fuelled with expectations about what memorable games and champions the next nine months will produce. This is a very exciting time for us to be sponsoring a sport and a competition that matches so many of our own values as a bank. Rugby is all about Passion, Commitment, Focus, Power and being Direct and these values are what both Rugby and RaboDirect stand for. We're looking forward to getting closer to fans, closer to the action and closer to local communities; while at the same time encouraging even greater crowds at the games, watching online or listening on radio. Rugby is after all, where it's at and RTÉ provide us with the perfect platform to support our sponsorship ambitions"
SAORVIEW is now available to 97% of Irish households and carries, amongst others, RTÉ One, RTÉ Two HD, RTÉNews Now, RTÉjr and RTÉ One + 1. SAORVIEW will also carry a new enhanced digital RTÉ Aertel information service and all of RTÉ's radio services.
"We are delighted to be able to offer such a high quality service free to Irish viewers", said Mary Curtis, Director of Digital Switchover, RTÉ. "After the initial purchase of a set top box or a new integrated digital television (iDTV) there is no subscription and no ongoing cost."
The new service will replace the old analogue television service – the signal received through an aerial – which will be switched off throughout Europe by the end of 2012. Of the 1.6 million TV households in Ireland almost 600,000 (37%) receive some television services through an aerial (either for their primary television or other televisions). Just over 335,000 (21%) Irish TV households currently depend entirely on the analogue service. These homes will lose their Irish television services at the end of 2012 unless they switch to another form of TV reception.
SAORVIEW offers a number of new enhanced services. It introduces free High Definition (HD) television broadcasting to Irish television for the first time. RTÉ Two HD have already broadcast the Magners League Final between Munster and Leinster and the Munster Hurling Championship quarter final between Cork and Tipperary in HD.
Speaking on the impact of Saorview, Commercial Director of Television; Geraldine O'Leary said;
'Saorview offers the viewer and the advertiser quantity and quality. RTÉ are now offering more channels (RTÉ One, RTÉ Two HD, RTÉ Jr, RTÉ One +1, and RTÉ News Now) and in better quality as illustrated by RTÉ Two HD. We in RTÉ have sought to be the leaders in innovation in Ireland. Being first with HD broadcasts demonstrates our commitment to this. Watch this space for many more HD programming from RTÉ'
As well as attracting those who must find a new means of receiving television signals by the end of 2012, SAORVIEW is expected to appeal to other television viewers seeking non-subscription digital television for either second rooms and/or second homes.
RTÉ is investing €70 million in the infrastructure needed to allow Ireland make the transition from analogue to digital television. Ireland moving to digital will free up spectrum for use by other important communications services such as broadband, mobile TV or other communications services. The Government has estimated that the Irish economy will benefit by up to €500 million over the next decade as a result of the switch to digital television.