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Virgin Media TV
on the telly box

Virgin Media TV launches spring schedule after 'tough decisions' in 2019

A number of shows are returning this spring, including Love Island and a new series of Blood.

VIRGIN MEDIA TV has launched its spring programming schedule, promising content that connects with its viewers after a challenging 2019.

Virgin Media Ireland, which owns the channel, announced in November that as many as 65 jobs could be cut.

Staff represented by the Unite and Siptu unions, which represent staff in call centre, technical, administration and sales areas, voted last month in favour of taking industrial action.

Speaking at the launch of the spring TV schedule in Dublin, Virgin Media TV’s managing director Pat Kiely said “difficult decisions” had been made to help manage the broadcaster’s way through challenges in 2019. 

He said the decline in the advertising market had an impact on all media companies, “but particularly those of us with a disproportionately higher reliance on ad funding”.

Kiely also made reference to “challenges faced by RTE in delivering its public service remit”. He said VMTV “significantly exceeded our own public service obligations”. 

This is a much unreported counterpoint in the PSB [public service broadcasting] debate particularly considering the performance of our own obligation is not support by the licence fee funding. 

Kiely said VMTV had seen a significant increase in its on demand service with more than 47 million streams across the world.

“We are a big player in that part of the market,” he said, adding that “TV isn’t going anywhere – it’s going everywhere”.

The schedule

Among the shows announced as part of the spring schedule today, was a second series of Irish drama Blood.

The new series of the show, starring Adrian Dunbar, will see his character Jim Hogan reeling from the death of his wife Mary and dealing with the arrest of his eldest daughter Fiona for murder. 

The drama has been sold in over 60 territories around the world and was recently nominated for a Writer’s Guild of Great Britain award. 

VMTV will also have a new documentary series,The Guards:Inside the K. The documentary will give viewers access to An Garda Síochána in one of the country’s most challenging policing districts, including footage of car chases and the aftermath of shootings.

A new show starting in February called Generation Dating will see a young person and an older person, both looking for love, meet and run each other’s love lives. 

The most talked about TV show Love Island is back with a Winter edition hosted by Laura Whitmore. There were 12 million streams of the show on the Virgin Media player alone last year.

Speaking of Love Island, winner Greg O’Shea will be co-presenting a new entertainment show focusing on rugby with Muireann O’Connell. 

As well as the Guinness Six Nations, VMTV will also be home to the Heineken Champions Cup, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, as well as the Cheltenham and Aintree Racing Festivals.

And, the broadcaster will, of course, have wide-ranging coverage of the general election – whenever that is.

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