BBC Northern Ireland
|Headquarters||Broadcasting House, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom|
|Broadcast area||Northern Ireland (also widely available in the Republic of Ireland)|
|TV stations||BBC One Northern Ireland
BBC Two Northern Ireland
in this area
|BBC Radio Ulster
BBC Radio Foyle
The organisation is one of the three national regions of the BBC, together with BBC Scotland and BBC Cymru Wales. Based at Broadcasting House, Belfast, it provides television, radio, online and interactive television content. BBC Northern Ireland currently employs 700 people, largely in Belfast.
BBC Northern Ireland operates two television stations;
Prior to 27 October 2006, BBC Two NI was a digital only service while BBC Two Northern Ireland was available on analogue transmission. Since 28 October 2006, BBC Two Northern Ireland has been the on-air name for both services which have been merged.
BBC Northern Ireland makes some of its own programmes itself. However, unlike the radio stations, the television stations' content is for the most part identical to that broadcast by the BBC One and BBC Two channels in England. Some network programmes may however be time-shifted in order to make room for more local programming. Most local programmes are broadcast on BBC One Northern Ireland.
- BBC Newsline is the regional news service. Its main presenters are Noel Thompson, Donna Traynor, Sarah Travers and Mark Carruthers. The main bulletin is from 18.30–19.00 with shorter bulletins at 13.30 and 22.25. Summaries are also broadcast during Breakfast and the early afternoon (all the BBC regions broadcast their own regional news simultaneously before all the networks reconnect to the national network for a national weather broadcast);
- regional political programmes, notably Spotlight, Hearts And Minds and Lets Talk;
- regional arts programmes;
- regional weekend chat shows;
- specialist coverage of events such a visit by Queen Elizabeth II, or a cross border visit by a dignitary such as the President of Ireland, or a distinguished overseas visitor such as the U.S. President. There is coverage of the Orange parades on 12 July, St. Patrick's Day parades on 17 March, etc.
As well as programmes intended purely for a regional audience, BBC Northern Ireland also produces programmes for national consumption on the BBC's channels across the UK. The main part of BBC Northern Ireland's network productions are in drama and comedy (http://www.bbc.co.uk/nidrama). Most recently, this has included producing the high-profile drama series Messiah.
Republic of Ireland
- BBC One Northern Ireland and BBC Two Northern Ireland are widely available across the border in the Republic of Ireland. These channels are carried on all digital platforms in the Republic including Sky Ireland, UPC Ireland, Magnet Networks, SCTV and Crossan Cable. BBC One NI and BBC Two NI are also available in the Republic via digital terrestrial in counties near the Northern Ireland border. Similarly, prior to digital switchover in 2012, they were available in these areas via analogue television.
- Additional BBC channels such as BBC Three, BBC Four, BBC News, and BBC World News, are also available within the Republic of Ireland via a free-to-air satellite receiver or, in some areas near the border, via overspill from the Freeview service.  Leading subcription TV providers also carry these channels.
- On 1 February 2010 the Republic of Ireland's Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan signed an agreement with the UK's Ben Bradshaw. This agreement will enable viewers within Northern Ireland to watch RTÉ One, RTÉ Two and TG4 on a free-to-air basis as of 2012. The agreement between both jurisdictions will also guarantee that viewers within the Republic of Ireland will be able to view BBC One Northern Ireland and BBC Two Northern Ireland on the Republic of Ireland's free-to-air service which was to debut in late 2010.
BBC Northern Ireland operates two radio stations:
- BBC Radio Ulster, on 92–95 FM and 1341 Medium Wave, which broadcasts throughout Northern Ireland, and
- BBC Radio Foyle, on 93.1 FM and 792 Medium Wave, which broadcasts to the North West of Northern Ireland
BBC Northern Ireland takes part in the 'Regionalisation' of some of the BBC's national radio output. Until 2012, for example, Radio 1 split the home nations on Thursday morning from midnight to 2am, with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland broadcasting their own shows to showcase regional talent. The Radio 1 session from Northern Ireland was last presented by Phil Taggart.
BBC Northern Ireland's online service provides News, Sport, Schools, Learning and Programme information for television and radio programmes. It provides a streaming audio service for Radio Ulster and Radio Foyle as well as every programme on demand for up to a week after transmission. bbc.co.uk/northernireland/ is part of BBC Online and operated from the Belfast base. It also provides multi platform interactivity for TV programmes including the annual Schools' Cup Rugby union and Gaelic Athletic Association finals.
Significant regional programmes
- Good Morning Ulster, flagship breakfast news programme presented by Mark Carruthers, Karen Patterson and Conor Bradford;
- BBC Newsline, television news bulletins
- Give My Head Peace, television comedy series
- Dry Your Eyes, Television comedy series
- Spotlight (not to be confused with the BBC South West programme)
- Hearts and Minds presented by Noel Thompson
- Let's Talk presented by Mark Carruthers
- Sunday Sequence presented by William Crawley
- Talk Back presented by Wendy Austin
- Seven Days presented by David Dunseith
- The Stephen Nolan show presented by Stephen Nolan
- Evening Extra, drive-time radio news presented by Seamus McKee
Television news bulletins
- Ulster Mirror (1950s)
- Scene Around Six (1969 – September 1984)
- Inside Ulster (September 1984 – 12 February 1996)
- Newsline 6.30/Newsline/BBC Newsline (12 February 1996 to date)
Selection of network programmes
- Ballykissangel (late 1990s)
- Gunpowder, Treason and Plot, historical drama
- Holy Cross
- Messiah (Crime Drama)
- Murphy's Law
- The Ambassador (late 1990s)
- Patrick Kielty Almost Live
Many Gaelic-games fans claim the sports are being discriminated against by the BBC in comparison to other sports. The BBC's coverage of Ulster inter-county football did improve in 2008, with them showing all but one of the 2008 Ulster Senior Football Championship matches, yet their lack of coverage of hurling, club matches and non-Ulster Championship games still angers GAA supporters. Little or no coverage was given to the 2008 club championships or the All-Ireland Minor Championship final replay between Tyrone and Mayo on BBC TV or radio. The BBC would have had to purchase the rights to show matches outside of the Ulster championships and described the situation as a "complicated rights issue". The popular show Sunday Sports Sound on BBC Radio Ulster was scrapped, before being reinstated in early 2008 and again in October 2008. The removal of the show had caused outrage among GAA fans in Ulster. Ulster Council President Tom Daly called for the corporation to give "more attention and coverage because of the huge interest in Gaelic games at all levels" although he had previously stated that he was "confident that the standard of coverage of Gaelic Games in Ulster this year will be at a very high level."
Irish League football
BBC NI provide coverage of Irish League football.
Although BBC Northern Ireland broadcasts primarily in English, there is some programming in the languages of Ireland, Irish and Scots. Radio Ulster carries a daily programme in Irish and there is an Irish language section on BBC Northern Ireland's pages, where reference is made to "BBC Thuaisceart Éireann". There are also occasionally TV programmes in Irish. Programmes are also broadcast in Ulster Scots.
There is a weekly radio programme for the Chinese community in Northern Ireland which broadcasts in Cantonese, called "Wah Yan Jee Sing".
The BBC television and radio stations are broadcast primarily from the Divis (500 kW), Limavady and Brougher Mountain transmitters. Both transmitters receive the BBC stations via a satellite feeds and each transmitter has a wealth of relay transmitters to provide analogue service to areas not served by their respective main transmitter.
BBC Northern Ireland have a radio link from their studios in Belfast which allows mobile on-location News crews to hear the studio; the test tone is known as the "commbeep". BBC Northern Ireland has three main television studios located in Belfast. There are two small studios located in the BBC Broadcasting House in Belfast. These are home to BBC Northern Ireland's regional news & current affairs programmes. They are around 2,000 sq ft (190 m2) each and are called Studio B and Studio 1. The largest of the studios is called Studio A which is located in the BBC Blackstaff House on Great Victoria Street in Belfast (just a few streets away from the BBC Broadcasting House). The studio measures 6,000 sq ft (560 m2) and has facilities equal to the main television studios in London. Studio A has been home to the award winning local sitcom Give My Head Peace, BBC Northern Ireland's contribution to BBC Children in Need, Question Time, Nolan Live and more.
Famous BBC NI broadcasters
Former BBC NI Broadcasters
- Patrick Kielty – Comedian and chat show host now mainly working on network television
- Sean Rafferty – Former presenter of Scene Around Six and Inside Ulster, evening news programmes broadcast until mid-1990s, as well as BBC Radio Ulster news programmes, now a BBC Radio 3 music presenter
- Gloria Hunniford – Former BBC NI presenter now well-known national personality working in network programmes based in London
- Suzanne Virdee – Former News reporter and presenter of BBC Newsline and Inside Ulster and former radio presenter on BBC Radio Ulster now based in Birmingham presenting BBC Midlands Today
- Colin Murray – BBC Radio Five Live presenter and former BBC Radio 1 DJ started with BBC Radio Ulster as a presenter on the Across the Line programme
Current BBC NI Broadcasters
- Noel Thompson – Presenter of Hearts and Minds
- Stephen Nolan – Presenter of The Stephen Nolan Show on BBC Radio Ulster, Nolan Live on BBC1 NI and a weekend phone-in programme on BBC Radio Five Live
- Gerry Anderson – Presenter of The Gerry Anderson Show on BBC Radio Ulster, a unique and wacky voice in broadcasting without a script
- Jackie Fullerton – BBC Northern Ireland's principal football commentator
- Hugo Duncan – Singer and presenter of music programmes on BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio Foyle
- Donna Traynor – Presenter on BBC Newsline
- Sarah Travers – Presenter on BBC Newsline
- "Saorview Combi Channels". Retrieved 4 June 2013.
- "Saorview/ Freeview Overspill Advice". Retrieved 4 June 2013.
- "RTÉ and TG4 to be freely available in North in 2012 – The Irish Times – Tue, 2 Feb 2010". 2 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- "RTÉ News: Ryan signs TG4 agreement with the British government". 1 February 2010. Archived from the original on 11 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- BBC Northern Ireland Drama bbc.co.uk
- Rodgers, Alan (17 October 2008). "GAA coverage comes under fire". Gaelic Life. p. 3.
- "Sport and Community Relations in Northern Ireland". CAIN. 28 August 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2009.
- "Lack of BBC GAA Coverage Unacceptable – Begley". 7 August 2007. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2009.
- "BBC Northern Ireland to screen GAA All-Ireland Football Championship Semi-Final". BBC. 28 August 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2009.
- "New GAA deal secured by BBC Northern Ireland". BBC. 10 August 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2009.
- Clutton, Graham (9 June 2010). "Celtic Rugby secure improved broadcast deal for Magners League coverage". London: telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 9 June 2010.