Friday 21 October 2016

Just 4,700 tune in to UTV Ireland's news show


Alison Comyn
Alison Comyn

Just 4,700 people tuned in to UTV Ireland's news bulletin at 5.30pm on Monday this week.

The miserable figures are a further drop since the Herald revealed earlier this month that ratings for News: Ireland Live, which is anchored by Alison Comyn, had dropped to just 7,000.

The low numbers are in stark contrast to TV3 News: The 5.30 which had an average viewership of 93,000 people on Monday. An average of 327,000 viewers watched the full hour-long RTE Six One News on the same night.

While insiders have described UTV news ratings as "disastrous", UTV Ireland claims they have a greater share of viewers across the day than TV3.

"UTV Ireland had an all-day share of 8.82pc of viewers on Monday and TV3 had 8.02pc," a spokesperson said.

"We also had a peak time share of 11.99pc while TV3 had just 6.26pc.

"It's very early days for our new 5.30pm news slot but the feedback from our audience about the quality of the programme has been hugely positive.


"Overall, our news is now reaching over 240,000 people every day. We look forward to building on this in the future."

Yesterday, UTV Ireland issued a trading update confirming they are expecting losses of more than €16m this year.

The company released a statement yesterday that admitted that viewership figures were still "volatile", 26 weeks after the channel debuted on January 1.

But bosses have insisted that they are pleased with the channel's progress six months in.

In the trading update, they confirmed the board had approved an "action plan".

A UTV Ireland spokesperson said they are now planning to introduce more home-grown productions in the coming months and are "absolutely" still pleased with results.

"We have a couple of different series in the pipeline and we have the Daniel and Majella O'Donnell series, which we launched last month. That will be airing in a few months time, it is being filmed throughout July," station spokesman Neal Cummins said last night.

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