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Ireland up against Germany and Netherlands to win over UK-based TV channels after Brexit

Some of these companies have already met with the BAI here in the last year.

Image: Shutterstock/sirtravelalot

IRELAND IS IN a strong position to convince television channels based in the United Kingdom to relocate here after Brexit.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie this week, Broadcasting Authority of Ireland chief executive Michael O’Keeffe said there are about 1,000 European licences which will be lost after Brexit and this will force these firms – Ofcom and Sony, for example – to open new bases in the European Union.

“They are feeds of different services that are going out. The likes of a Discovery Channel, the will have ten or 12 different countries on the feed and all the licences are in Ofcom, so they’ll have to move them somewhere else,” he said.

The BAI and IDA Ireland been meeting with a number of groups in the UK over the last year to talk about the regulatory process here.

“They’re still exploring and they’re exploring a number of different countries, not just ourselves,” he explained.

The main competitors include the Netherlands, which is already host to Netflix’s, and Germany which has a number of production bases.

Ireland has a lot to offer too, O’Keeffe said.

“One company has said to us we’re in competition with three others for where they will go.

“Language and regime being similar – they’re the two main advantages that we have to set out with prospective groups.”

Some of these companies have already visited Ireland to meet with the BAI.

A&E Networks, which has channels like the History Channel have expressed interest in Ireland.

O’Keeffe said US channels tend not to go directly to the BAI, instead they go to consultant groups which act as a go-between.

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“Sony would have loads of channels, we had initial contact from a consultant, but haven’t heard anything since,” he said. “It could either take off or it could not happen.”

“We have an open approach we’re saying if it happens we’re available and ready.”


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