A new Irish TV station is to target the diaspora in America, Britain and Australia when it launches this summer.
IrishTV will be available on Public Broadcasting Services in the US and on Sky in Britain.
The new channel will create 150 jobs and is to base a team of three in each of Ireland’s 32 counties to cover news, features and sport.
The channel is the brainchild of husband and wife team Pierce O’Reilly and Maireach Ni Mhaoilchiarain and is backed by Mayo-born multi-millionaire John Griffin, who recently sold the UK’s largest minicab service Addison Lee for over $500 million.
The station will benefit from a $20million initial investment and will feature 50 home-produced programs a week.
O’Reilly, who previously lived in New York, said that the emphasis will be on community news.
He said, “Each of the 32 counties will have their own half-hour ‘County Matters’ show once a week, produced by IrishTV’s own nationwide production network.
“We are putting three-person teams in place in each county to produce them.
The theme of the county matters shows is simple – Irish rural life is unique, with its own cultures, traditions and events. At the heart of these events are people, and wherever people gather, we’ll be there,” said O’Reilly.
“Three people will be employed in each county in production, presentation and commercial positions on the county matters shows, while an initial 34 staff will be based at IrishTV headquarters in Westport, with a further five in our northern office in Donaghmore, Tyrone “
"Internationally, ten people will be employed across three UK offices in Manchester, Liverpool and London and an initial five in IrishTV’s US base in Cleveland, Ohio. “with a focus on connecting people to their locality, IrishTV aims to shine a light on rural Ireland and bring the real essence of Irish life to a worldwide audience."
“So whether you’re from Cavan, Carlow, Cork or Clare, there is at least half an hour’s worth of programming a week bringing your local area to you, wherever you are in the world.”IrishTV will also produce and feature local news, sports, children’s, culture, music, golf, food, agriculture and entertainment programming.>
“The station will take news and politics from RTE Digital, but the home-produced programs will include everything from cookery and country music to fashion and farming, sports, children's programs, golf and entertainment.
“Musically, the focus will be on the successful country and Irish format, with stars such as Nathan Carter and Mike Denver and singing sensation Lisa McHugh presenting a prime time Saturday night show.
“At the moment, we are in Finglas making a classical music series with up and coming young Irish talent – musicians who have never got a minute on TV before.”
The service will begin May 1.