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Launched 5 January 2009
Owned by TV3 Group
Picture format 16:9 576i SDTV
Audience share 1.3% Increase (December 2011, [1])
Country Ireland
Replaced Channel 6 (2006-2009)
Sister channel(s) TV3, TV3+1
Website http://www.3etv.ie
Saorview Channel 5
Sky Ireland Channel 105
UPC Ireland Channel 106
Magnet Entertainment Channel 106
Streaming media
UPC Horizon Watch live (Ireland only)

3e (3 entertainment) is a free-to-air general entertainment channel operated by the TV3 Group in Ireland. The channel is aimed at the lucrative 15–35 age group. It was launched January 5, 2009 replacing Channel 6.

TV3 Group propose to launch 3e HD by 2016.[2]



Main article: Channel 6 (Ireland)
Channel 6 Logo

What would eventually become 3E initially broadcast as Channel 6 on March 30, 2006.[3] In 2008, it was announced the channel was for sale. In July 2008, it was confirmed that TV3 had purchased the parent company, Kish Media for €10 million.[4] The channel continued to broadcast as Channel 6 for a further 6 months before it was rebranded as 3e. Prior to its relaunch TV3 began to promote Channel 6 programming on its main channel. In December 2008, TV3 confirmed they were to rebrand Channel 6 to 3e on 5 January 2009. The channel would utilize existing TV3 programming and provide TV3 audiences with a wider range of programming. 3e provides viewers with a broad mix of US and Australian acquisitions and is often used as a TV3 replay service featuring repeats of previously broadcast programs on TV3 such as Ireland AM, Xposé and Midday. It was reported on 24 July 2009; TV3 Group sought to change 3e's licensing from the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland.[5] On 29 July 2009, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland announced that the 3e licence would be licensed under Section 34, rather than Sections 36 and 41, of the Broadcasting Act 2001. This means that 3e is no longer a separate cable and satellite service rather it will be covered by the main terms and conditions of the existing TV3 contract.[6]

In November 2010, the TV3 Group confirmed 3e made financial losses, but returned to a profit in 2011.[7] From November 2010, 3e began to air in the majority of homes in Ireland as it became one of the test channels on Saorview. By May 2012, the channel became available to 98% of homes in Ireland through Saorview and also available on other digital television providers. From November 2014, 3e was expected to receive a new on-air presentation, but has been delayed until mid-2015.[8] FYI was replaced by a 60-second news bulletin on the hour every hour known as The Thread from September 2014.


  • With the announcement that TV3 Group would operate the channel. It was confirmed in December 2008 that TV3 had decided not to recommission the majority of Channel 6's homegrown programming which included Night Shift which had a cult following. The controversial move to cancel the series was reported in the media with major criticism from music journalists and music fans.[9] Other shows which were cancelled with TV3's acquisition of Channel 6 included music shows Day Shift and Pop Scene, and Take 6, a weekly movie review show.
  • From 2009, TV3 began to use the channel as a replay service. In late 2010, 3e began producing its own programming which includes FYI (previously 3e News) and Uploaded.
  • 3e was made available on Sky Ireland in late 2009. Predecessor Channel 6 was not available on this service due to a dispute between Kish Media and Sky.[10] This situation was rectified on 29 September 2009 when TV3 Group and Sky Ireland confirmed that that 3e would be made available on its service.[11][12]

The TV3 Group[edit]

The TV3 Group was established in January 2009. The network operates TV3 and its sister channel 3e and the online service tv3.ie. The network's studios are located at Ballymount, Dublin. TV3, the first channel from the network, launched in 1998. The network expanded in 2008 when TV3 purchased rival channel Channel 6 and rebranded it in January 2009 as 3e. In November 2008, the tv3.ie website was rebranded, with the intention of developing it into an entertainment portal. Catch-up facilities, as well as exclusive content, are available for TV3 programming as are news, weather, sport and entertainment updates. In October 2011, 3Player a video-on-demand service was launched.

Possible Buyouts[edit]


In 2012, TV3 Groups owners Doughty Hanson indicated their wishes to sell off the company in due course. Speculation as to who would purchase the group continued into 2013 with UTV Media considered a major contender.[13] However, in 2013 UTV confirmed plans it would launch its own Republic of Ireland service in early 2014 - branded as UTV Ireland.

April 2015 – present

In early April 2015, a number of media groups were reporting TV3's owners Doughty Hanson were definitely interested in selling the TV3 Group.[14][15][16][17] These reports were strengthened when Doughty Hanson confirmed it has scrapped plans for a sixth investment fund.[18] A number of international broadcasters were reportedly interested in purchasing the Irish-based broadcaster including Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) and Liberty Global.[19] It was later reported VIMN has shown disinterest in purchasing the network but on April 16, 2015 both the Irish Independent and Sky News claimed Carlyle have shown interest in the broadcaster and negotiations were due to begin. Carlyle have recently begun investing in the Irish market. TV3 Group has declined requests from media organisations to comment on the rumours.[20]

It was further reported on May 3, 2015 The Sunday Business Post reported Liberty Global are in negotiations to takeover the broadcaster based on on-going negotiations.[14]

Broadcasting policy[edit]

3e broadcasts a wide range of programming which is made up largely of United States, Australian and UK television acquisitions, while also airing some Irish content. 3e utilizes the existing staff at TV3 (200 employees) to operate the channel. The channel airs mainly dramas, comedy, sports and movies. The channel provides a diverse mix of programming both local and international, targeting a demographic ranging between 15 to 35 year olds.

Viewing figures[edit]

  • TV3 Group reported on 12 November 2009 that 3e's viewing figures had increased since moving to Sky 105. Its audience share increased by 25% from 0.9% to 1.1% - this brought the channel back to the audience figures received by Channel 6 at the end of 2008.[21]
  • As of 2010, 3e has increased its viewing figures through an increase in Irish programming and live sports.[22]


In 2008, TV3 received €3 million in funding from the licence fee for independent productions on the channel. In 2009[23] TV3 had revenues of €54,300,000. In the previous year (2008), TV3 received €62 million in advertising revenue. Increases in programme cost during 2008 included new sporting contracts with the GAA and UEFA, the first renewal of their contract with the British broadcaster ITV for shows such as The X-Factor and Coronation Street, a small but significant increase in programmes commissioned from independent producers and their takeover of Channel 6 (now 3e). They also increased their investment in online technology, with their online service earning a profit for the first time. In 2009, two rounds of redundancies reduced TV3 staff to 213 people. Staff savings have been augmented by agreed reductions in wages. The 200 staff working in TV3 now provide seven hours of live television five days a week, an increase of two hours and a staff reduction of 50 since 2007.

In 2010, 3e's parent company recorded losses at the station during 2009. A pre-tax loss of €5million was reported to the Irish Company Registrars Office (CRO). Kish Media will not look to recoup their €14.5million investment until such time as the channel begins to make profits and when all liabilities at the station are paid as they fall due. It is expected that the channel will move into profit in 2010, however the downturn in the Irish market and falling advertising rates did cause the channel problems during 2009. Revenue was down in 2008 from 2007, while expenses during 2008 had be reduced slightly.[24]


In 2009, several rearrangements of the 3e schedule occurred. These included showing repeats of Xpose and Emmerdale straight after TV3, followed by putting Xpose on at 17:30 instead of 18:30 and removing repeat showings of Emmerdale and replacing them with repeat showings of Coronation Street. Each of the changes failed to ignite 3e audience share, at first a small drop was seen. As you can see Xpose was returned to 18:30, while a Coronation Street omnibus was on a Sunday afternoon, however ultimately both ITV soaps were dropped from the schedule.


  • With the relaunch of the channel to 3e the Channel 6 programming was replaced by repeats of TV3's XposéXTRA and The Holiday Show. Towards the end of 2009 TV3 began to produce more programming Xccelerate a weekly motoring show for 3e, produced by City Productions for TV3.[25]
  • In 2010, TV3 will bring their mix of homegrown morning shows to the channel as repeats. Ireland AM will be repeated on 3e each morning at 10:15, The Morning Show will be repeated the following morning on 3e at 09:25 and Midday will be repeated the following morning on 3e at 08:35.

News and sport[edit]

Although designed as an entertainment channel, 3e started broadcasting news updates shortly after the station launched in 2009. 3e News Update is a minute long news broadcast from TV3 News. 3e News Update broadcasts Monday to Friday at 18:59, 19:59, 20:59, and 21:59. The News Updates were presented by TV3 News presenters.

Since September 2009 TV3 Sport has provided live coverage of the UEFA Europa League (formerly the UEFA Cup) on 3e, the Irish rights for which TV3 shares with Setanta Ireland.[26]

In 2014 TV3 agreed a deal with UFC to broadcast the UFC: Dublin Fight Night on 19 July 2014. The fight between Irishman Conor McGregor and Diago Brandao, is the first UFC fight to be broadcast by an Irish FTA TV service.

CEO of the TV3 Group David McRedmond revealed in an interview with Hot Press on Thursday 8 October 2009 that 3e would produce a new news programme targeting a demographic between 15 to 34 years of age. The show will air every evening and it is expected to start broadcasting at the end of October 2009,[27] however the show's launch was put back until the end of November 2009.[28]

3e News began broadcasting 23 November 2009 at 18:00. It broadcasts Monday to Friday each week. The main news anchor is Caroline Twohig, The sports anchor is Paul Walsh and the cyber reporter is Cassie Stokes.[29] 3e News is to be renamed as FYI(Fresh Young Independent) from 10 March 2010. The show's presenters remain on in their current roles and the format of an Interactive news aimed at the 15 to 35 year old age group remains. 3e News Update has been replaced with FYI. Update at 7:58, FYI. Online at 8:58 and FYI. Download at 9:58.[30]

In July 2014 it was announced that 3e was to drop FYI to be replaced by a 60-second news similar to the original TV3 News Update that aired on the channel, the news update will be called The Thread in reference to their new on-line blogging service .[31]

In March 2015, 3e aired 5 nights of specialist topics as part of Debate Week[32] the shows were produced in association with IADT.



When the TV3 Group purchased the channel and rebranded it as 3e; many existing programming on TV3 began to air on the channel. One of the first major acquisitions for the channel was the agreement to broadcast ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Middle. In November 15, 2010, 3e replaced Jimmy Kimmel Live with TNT's Conan. TV3 Group signed an agreement with HBO to air the first season of In Treatment. It also began to air episodes of Glee which has its first showing every Friday night at 21:00 on 3e before TV3 on Wednesday night. Popular FOX animated comedies began to air on 3e such as The Cleveland Show, Futurama Family Guy and American Dad and other FOX programmes such as America's Got Talent and American Idol and the US version of The X-Factor. ITV programming began to air on the channel either as repeats or extended programming such as I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, Dancing on Ice, The X Factor, The Xtra Factor and Britain's Got Talent. 3e also simulcasted Five's reality TV series Don't Stop Believing in Summer 2010.

3e began to broadcast some popular Australian progreammes these included Channel Ten's Underbelly and Bondi Rescue and Seven Network's Nothing to Declare. UK programmes include The Graham Norton Show, Fonejacker and The Only Way is Essex, which broadcast late night Friday and Saturday. The critically acclaimed American comedies 30 Rock, Community, Hung and The Office US all air on the channel. The Seth MacFarlane animated comedies American Dad, Family Guy and The Cleveland Show all air from 22:00 Monday to Friday. Weekend sitcoms include Accidentally on Purpose (which replaced repeats of Xposé in August 2011 Monday to Friday at 18:30) Better with You and The King of Queens air early evening at the weekend. Family comedies Everybody Hates Chris and Malcolm in the Middle broadcast during the daytime with alternating stripped schedules as one ends the other takes over. Classic US family comedy Full House and Growing Pains are currently air at the weekend.

American detective franchises CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles and JAG are broadcast on the channel. Other US detective serials on the channel include Dexter, The Closer, Chuck and House. American Sci-Fi and fantasy serials include Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, V and Supernatural. Teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation and Friday Night Lights are shown weekend mornings. Daytime chat shows include The Steve Wilkos Show and The Jeremy Kyle Show. Other shows include 3rd Rock from the Sun, The King of Queens and That '70s Show.

Programming includes U.S. imports such as The Big Bang Theory, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, Family Guy, American Dad!, The Cleveland Show, Malcolm in the Middle, The U.S. Office, Conan, House, The Steve Wilkos Show, Friends, Glee, The Middle and Modern Family. British imports include The Graham Norton Show, Take Me Out (UK), The Jeremy Kyle Show, The Xtra Factor, I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! and I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! NOW!. Irish programming includes FYI, Tallafornia, Take Me Out Ireland and Uploaded.

As part of the 2012 autumn schedule 3e announced the following programmes as part of the line-up: Uploaded, Tallafornia Uncut, Conan, American Idol, Family Guy, American Dad!, The Cleveland Show, Beavis and Butthead, Bob's Burgers, The Only Way is Essex, Take Me Out (UK game show), Britain's Got More Talent, The Jeremy Kyle Show USA, Nothing to Declare, Bondi Rescue and When Paddy Met Sally.[33]


The channel is available to 98% of homes within Ireland through the national digital terrestrial television service Saorview.[34] It is available to 80% of homes through digital cable and satellite service such as UPC Ireland, Magnet Networks, Smartvision and Sky Ireland.

On air identifiers[edit]

January 2009—2014: When 3e launched in January 2009, the new idents were made by Dublin-based Image Now. The 3e idents consists of the 'e' bouncing around the screen next to the '3',[35] one is generic while the other one has the 'e' in flames trying to put them out.[36] A third ident was added in October 2009 for use before soccer matches, it shows the 'e' kicking a football against the '3'.[37] A fourth ident was added in October 2010, which features the 'e' slipping on a banana skin as a pie and rake hits it.

TV3 have announced a student competition to re-brand the 3e logo, the new idents are expected to launch during I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here in November 2014.[38]

3e's Christmas idents were made in-house at TV3. Three idents were introduced 'Mistletoe', 'Snowballs' and 'Lights' The new idents were first show on Saturday 19 December.[39]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Media Live". Medialive2.com. Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  2. ^ http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=91884908#post91884908
  3. ^ http://www.iftn.ie/finance/finance_news/?act1=record&only=1&aid=73&rid=1830&tpl=archnews&force=1
  4. ^ "TV3 to buy Channel 6 for €10m". Irish Independent. 2012-11-26. 
  5. ^ Noonan, Laura (2008-07-26). "Broadcasting watchdog to rule on cross-media O'Brien probe". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  6. ^ "BCI Approves Changes to Setanta Ireland & Awards New Contracts". IFTN. 2008-07-29. Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  7. ^ "TV3 parent writes down goodwill value by €118.7m". The Irish Times. 2010-11-11. 
  8. ^ http://www.businessandleadership.com/marketing/item/46415-3e-inviting-students-to-be
  9. ^ "Channel 6’s NightShift to be taken off air". State. 2008-12-08. Retrieved 2008-12-25. 
  10. ^ Digital Spy, 29 January 2006: No Sky launch for Ireland's Channel 6. Retrieved 2008-08-03.
  11. ^ TV3 Press Release, 29 September 2009: TV3 ANNOUNCES NEW HOME ON SKY FOR 3e . Retrieved 2009-10-01.
  12. ^ "Free Text Host - Email from TV3 regarding move of 3e". Keith Feeney/Free Text Host. 2009-10-02. 
  13. ^ Lyons, Tom (21 April 2013). "UTV eyes up bid to take over 'debt laden' TV3". Independent.ie. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  14. ^ a b http://www.businesspost.ie/#!search/tv3
  15. ^ http://irishmusicfeed.tumblr.com/post/114919891189/tv-could-viacom-or-liberty-global-purchase-tv3
  16. ^ http://www.independent.ie/business/media/usbased-carlyle-has-broadcaster-tv3-in-frame-for-takeover-31149181.html
  17. ^ http://news.sky.com/story/1466127/buyout-firms-broadcast-bids-for-irelands-tv3
  18. ^ http://www.irishtimes.com/business/media-and-marketing/tv3-s-owner-scraps-plan-for-sixth-investment-fund-1.2175988
  19. ^ http://www.newstalk.com/TV3-Ireland-takeover-Doughty-Hanson-Carlyle-equity-groups
  20. ^ http://www.irishtimes.com/business/media-and-marketing/tv3-tight-lipped-over-reports-carlyle-in-takeover-talks-1.2178843
  21. ^ "3e to launch own news after reporting 25pc surge in new Sky slot". Irish Independent. 2009-11-12. 
  22. ^ TV3
  23. ^ "Doughty Hanson takes writedown of €54m on investment in TV3". The Irish Times. 2009-10-10. 
  24. ^ McCaughren, Samantha (2010-02-21). "3e records losses, but profit expected this year". The Post. Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  25. ^ "IRELAND’S ONLY MOTORING SHOW REVS UP ON 3e" (Press release). TV3. Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  26. ^ "MEDIA content rights sales: UEFA Europa League" (PDF). UEFA. 2009-12-21. Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  27. ^ "TV3 boss compares Irish media control to Soviet State system". Hot Press. 2009-10-08. Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  28. ^ O2 Ideas Room (2009-11-12). "3e to launch own news after reporting 25pc surge in new Sky slot - Media, Business". Independent.ie. Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  29. ^ "3e News presenters confirmed!" (Press release). TV3. Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  30. ^ "fyi. – A FRESH APPROACH TO NEWS" (Press release). YV3. Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  31. ^ "TV3 announces new Documentary Unit and New Primetime Evening Show." (Press release). YV3. Retrieved 2014-07-19. 
  32. ^ http://www.tv3.ie/3e_debates.php
  33. ^ http://cdn.thejournal.ie/media/2012/08/programmes-on-tv3-autumn-2012.pdf
  34. ^ 3e NOW on Saorview - boards.ie
  35. ^ "Broadcast Yourself". YouTube. 2010-04-01. Retrieved 2010-05-21. [not in citation given]
  36. ^ "3e ident January 2009 to Present - Fire". YouTube. 2009-11-09. Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  37. ^ "3e ident January 2009 to Present - football". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  38. ^ http://www.businessandleadership.com/marketing/item/46415-3e-inviting-students-to-be/
  39. ^ "3e Christmas ident 2009 - Misseltoe". YouTube. 2009-12-19. Retrieved 2010-05-21.