2011 in Irish television

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List of years in Irish television (table)

The following is a list of events relating to television in Ireland from 2011.


  • 4 January – Freeview announces details for the launch of ITV1+1, together with the possibility that both STV and UTV will launch their own timeshift services, STV +1 and UTV +1 in Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively.[1] UTV later confirms it will launch UTV+1 at 8pm on 11 January 2011.[2]
  • May – Mission to Prey, presented by Aoife Kavanagh, is aired on RTÉ One, leading to the defamation of Fr. Kevin Reynolds.[3][4] Justice and Defence Minister Alan Shatter supports the programme at the time.[5]
  • 23 May – Helen O'Rahilly, a former director of television at RTÉ launches a scathing attack on its flagship programme, The Late Late Show amid criticism that standards on the programme have slipped since Ryan Tubridy took over as host in 2009. In an online blog, O'Rahilly says, “If I was back in charge of RTÉ, you wouldn’t see this utter shite on Friday night”.[6]
  • 25 May – RTÉ News Now revamps its on-screen identity, giving viewers more detailed content.
  • 26 May – Saorview, the free to air digital television service is launched. The service has eight channels – RTÉ One, RTÉ Two HD, TV3, TG4, RTÉ News Now, 3e, RTÉjr and RTÉ One + 1 – and is available to 97% of households in Ireland. Saorview also carries a new digital RTÉ Aertel service and RTÉ's radio services.[7]
  • 6 June – The BBC announces that the national variations of BBC One Northern Ireland, BBC One Scotland and BBC One Wales will become available in high definition in 2012.[8]
  • 6 October – BBC Director General Mark Thompson announces that BBC HD will close to be replaced by a high definition simulcast of BBC Two. This BBC Two HD will work much the same way as BBC One HD.[9] This move allows the corporation to save £2.1 million, used to count towards their budget deficit following the freezing of the license fee and the additional financial responsibility of addition services.[10]
  • 8 October – TV3's Video on Demand (VOD) is relaunched as 3Player.[11] It replaces the original TV3 Catch-Up service previously available at tv3.ie and through its iPhone/iPad app. The new service was revealed at a press call the previous day1. It is estimated by the TV3 Group that the service will be worth about €7.5 million by 2015. 3Player is in HTML5 format which makes it available on the majority of operating systems.
  • 15 November – The Houses of the Oireachtas Channel begins broadcasting on UPC Ireland channel 801, as part of a trial initiative for a period of six months.[12]
  • 23 November – Prime Time Investigates is axed as Director-General of RTÉ Noel Curran describes the broadcasting of "Mission to Prey" as "one of the gravest editorial mistakes ever made" at RTÉ.[13]
  • 19 December - Eugene Heary wins the fourth series of The Apprentice.[14]
  • 26 December – Launch of TV50, a series of special events throughout 2012, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the launch of RTÉ Television, then known as Telefís Éireann, on 31 December 1961.[15]




Ongoing television programmes[edit]







Ending this year[edit]



  1. ^ "ITV1 + 1 to launch on 11 January 2011". Freeview. Retrieved 19 February 2012. 
  2. ^ "Virgin Media viewers get access to ITV1+1 tonight". Cable.co.uk. 11 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Aoife Kavanagh: Journalist who made the headlines". Irish Independent. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Republic's government order probe into RTÉ Fr Reynolds libel case". BBC News. BBC. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2011. 
  5. ^ Brennan, Michael (26 November 2011). "Shatter in U-turn on his 'rash' support for Prime Time". Irish Independent. Archived from the original on 4 August 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Ex-RTÉ chief condemns Late Late as 'utter sh*te'". JOE.ie. 23 May 2011. Archived from the original on 2 March 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  7. ^ "Free-to-air digital service Saorview launched – RTÉ News". Rte.ie. 26 May 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "BBC Executive priorities and summary workplan for 2011/12" (PDF). BBC Online. 6 June 2011. p. 11. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  9. ^ "BBC set to cut 2,000 jobs by 2017". BBC News. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  10. ^ "BBC cuts at a glance". BBC News. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  11. ^ "TV3 unveils new player « Blog". Blog.marketing.ie. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "Dáil Éireann Debate Vol. 746 No. 3 Unrevised". Houses of the Oireachtas. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 25 May 2012. 
  13. ^ Cullen, Paul; McGreevy, Ronan (23 November 2011). "RTÉ shelves investigative series and concedes 'grave mistake'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  14. ^ "Apprentice winner reveals his secret fears for mum". The Evening Herald. Independent News and Media. 20 December 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  15. ^ "RTÉ launches TV50". RTÉ Ten. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 26 December 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  16. ^ "Tributes paid to 'brilliant' journalist Gerald Barry". Irish Independent. 14 March 2011.
  17. ^ "Tributes paid on death of Gerald Barry". The Irish Times. 14 March 2011.
  18. ^ "Death of former RTÉ presenter Peter Murphy". RTÉ News. 4 June 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  19. ^ "RTÉ journalist Cathal O'Shannon dies aged 83". RTÉ News. 22 October 2011. Archived from the original on 24 October 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2011.