The New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the largest and most renowned St. Patrick's Day parade in America, will be broadcast live for the first time ever in Ireland and the UK on March 17. NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade officials have partnered with IRISH TV to facilitate the international broadcast of the 255th annual Parade that will see over 200,000 people walk up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on March 17th.

“We are honored that IRISH TV allows us to share this great celebration of St. Patrick and of Irish-American traditions and values with the people of Ireland,” said St. Patrick’s Day Parade Board Chairman John Lahey. “As we march behind Sen. George Mitchell, our grand marshal and a man respected and beloved in Ireland, and as we mark the 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising, we send a message of unity back to our brothers and sisters in Ireland.”

“When you think about the history of the parade since 1762, it’s such an iconic celebration of all things Irish, just a perfect alignment,” said Eamonn Donlyn VP of IRISH TV America. “As we get set to launch IRISH TV across the US, it is great for us to be able to connect Irish communities on both sides of the ocean with this live broadcast, which is exactly the premise of IRISH TV.”

“IRISH TV is our ideal international TV partner and we are thrilled to have them onboard, and we are thankful to have them join our wonderful host station, WNBC-TV 4 in New York, who have been great partners in bringing this international broadcast to fruition,” said Hilary Beirne, Executive Secretary of the NYC parade.

IRISH TV’s LIVE coverage from 3pm – 7pm on March 17 with have husband and wife team, Louth native Tommy Smyth and Treasa Goodwin Smyth anchoring the coverage. This year’s Grand Marshal is U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, who negotiated the Good Friday Peace Agreement. The parade commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising. All of the traditional Irish organizations including 49 Ancient Order of Hibernians groups will be marching. There will be 150 bands, including the New York Police Department Emerald Society Pipes & Drums and the FDNY Emerald Society Pipes & Drums, as well as pipers from Galicia, Spain.

Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio announced this week that he is to end his boycott of the city's St Patrick's Day Parade and will take part this year. The mayor had refused to march in the parade in 2014 and 2015 because of a ban on LGBT groups marching under their own banner. “New York has always been so connected to Ireland, and in the year of 2016, we are excited to transport our viewers to New York for one of the best and biggest St. Patrick’s Day events on the planet,” said Eamonn Donlyn VP of IRISH TV America.

The New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade, dedicated to St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland and of the Archdiocese of New York, starts at 11 am every March 17th at 44th Street and proceeds up Fifth Avenue to 79th street in Manhattan. The Parade marched for the first time in 1762, fourteen Years before the Declaration of Independence was signed in Independence Hall, Philadelphia. Each year it hosts some 200,000 marchers and two million spectators, with many outstanding marching bands, bagpipers in marching formations, high-school and college bands from throughout the United States and from all over the world. The occasion is televised live to millions of households across the United States for four hours by host station WNBC-TV 4, and now to 15 million homes in Ireland and the UK on IRISH TV.

IRISH TV is Ireland's first international TV channel, and is rolling out in the United States and international markets on Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, plus Apple and Android phones, tablets and iads in April of 2016. The channel is available on SKY TV 191 in Ireland and the UK, and is also available on FREESAT Channel 400 across Europe, on Eircom's eVision 191 and on all Free to air boxes. IRISH TV has witnessed exceptional growth since its launch in May 2014.