The RTÉ News at 9 has always been a standalone and has remained unrivalled in Ireland for years.
Rivals TV3 have always had their half 5 bulletin but never anything too near the precious 9 o’clock slot that has been ‘owned’ by RTÉ for so many years.
Until today, that is.
Because, the 30 August signals a new era in Irish television as TV3 becomes Virgin Media Television today.
With this launch, the news has been revealed that the channel will get a new nightly News at 8 slot which will directly rival RTÉ’s 9pm News.
Hosted by Claire Brock, the new news show doesn’t mean to go head-to-head with RTÉ but “if it does, it does.”
“We’re just doing this because this is an opportunity for Virgin Media News to promote their [news] at another time and put ourselves out there and inform the viewers at that time.
“We’re not going head to head, we’re doing this because it’s a good time and a good time to get viewers.”
Her colleague, Colette Fitzpartick added: “It may well take viewers [from RTE], but that’s not the intention. That’s not the reason behind it. It’s to go it alone. It’s an hour earlier. It’s not the intention. If it does, it does, but it’s not the reason.”
We want to see RTÉ, Virgin Media Television and TG4 news teams all have it out in a big fight, Anchorman style, just no touching of the hair and face of course.