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We talked to TV3's programming boss about Love Island (and whether there might be an Irish version)

Bill Malone was speaking at the Ballymount broadcaster’s rebrand event this week.

 An estimated 35,000 viewers watched the premiere of Love Island.
An estimated 35,000 viewers watched the premiere of Love Island.
Image: ITV

LOVE ISLAND HAS been the “hit of the summer” for TV3′s entertainment channel 3e this year, the director of programming has said.

Bill Malone was speaking at the Ballymount broadcaster’s rebrand event this week (the company will be known as Virgin Media Television from the autumn).

The show, which runs on ITV2 in the UK, is filmed on the Spanish island of Majorca and contestants can win a £50,000 prize by coupling up with another person on the show and being chosen by a public vote as the winning couple.

In the first week of broadcast this year, an average viewership of 102,000 tuned in to watch the programme live on 3e.

“So Episode One now, when you have catch-up and the player and all those things added in, it’s something like 350,000 people have watched the first episode of Love Island.”

The show has been running for years, but there’s been a pick-up in interest this summer. Malone said ITV2 was reporting a similar increase.

Across the channel, an average of 2.95 million viewers watched the premiere of the series, giving ITV2 its biggest ever audience.

Malone said TV3 had acquired the distribution rights for Love Island Australia with the intention to air in the near future.

Irish Programming 

In the past TV3 has launched Irish versions of popular UK reality shows, including Take Me Out and Ireland’s Got Talent.

When asked by TheJournal.ie about the possibility of an Irish Love Island, Malone said:

I’ve heard rumours, who knows. It’s a possibility.

As part of the rebrand announcement, the broadcaster said that it will continue to increase the number of original programming it produces.

The launch of a new dedicated sports channel has been made in tandem with the group’s planned rebrand. The three channels that are currently part of the TV3 brand will be renamed from TV3, 3e and Be3 to Virgin Media One, Two and Three.

“TV is an expensive business, we make a lot of home production and we will be upping the quota of home production on Virgin Media television,” Malone said.

Malone previously worked as RTÉ2′s channel controller but was poached by Virgin Media television in 2016 and appointed as its director of programming.

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Adam Daly

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