Virgin Media will make TV history this weekend by being the first UK broadcaster to televise the results of the Irish general election.
Partnering with Irish free to air channel TV3 – which was acquired by Virgin Media’s parent company Liberty Global last year – the UK cable company will broadcast the results on VOTE 2016 – Election Results Special on channel 996 to customers with TiVo boxes.
The programme will be broadcast live from the Virgin Media TV3 HD Studio in Dublin from 7pm to 9pm on Sunday, February 28.
Virgin Media’s chief digital entertainment officer David Bouchier, said: “This breaks new ground for our TV service at Virgin Media. Firstly, we are able to create a new service, which we can turn live for a few hours, which no other platform is able to do.
“Secondly, in doing so we are able to create content to take advantage of exciting news and current affairs issues that we believe will appeal to our viewers. Finally we hope this will be the first of many opportunities to work with TV3 to offer originated programming to the wider UK audience.”
VOTE 2016 co-hosts Ivan Yates and Colette Fitzpatrick (pictured) will interview party leaders, commentators and political strategists, who will provide speculation ahead of the results announcement.
The 2016 election promises to be historic for other reasons; it’s predicted that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael will form a coalition government for the first time in history.
TV3 Group’s managing director Pat Kiely, added: “I am delighted that we are providing viewers in the UK unique access to our Vote 2016 Results via our colleagues in Virgin Media. This is a new opportunity for the Irish diaspora and UK viewers to engage with the General Election across the Virgin Media network of millions of homes in the UK.”
It’s unclear if TV3 and Virgin Media will continue to provide coverage of Irish politics in the UK. We hope so – this clip of current Taoiseach Enda Kenny failing TV3’s ‘Steady Hand Challenge’ makes a welcome change from David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn trading ‘your mum’ jibes.