This article needs to be updated.July 2018)(
RTÉ Television is a department of Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ), the Republic of Ireland's national broadcaster. Its first channel was Telefís Éireann, which began broadcasting on 31 December 1961. Since the 1960s, RTÉ Television has added channels and digital television service.
|Founded||1 June 1960|
|Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland|
Worldwide (via internet)
(managing director of television)
|Owner||Raidió Teilifís Éireann|
- RTÉ One (launched in 1961 as Telefís Éireann, known as RTÉ from 1966, HD service launched on 16 December 2013)
- RTÉ2 (launched in 1978, known from 1988 to 2004 as Network 2, HD service launched in October 2011)
- RTÉ News Now (launched on 12 June 2008)
- RTÉjr (launched on 27 May 2011)
- RTÉ One +1 (launched on 27 May 2011)
- RTÉ2+1 (launched on 19 February 2019)
Although Ireland was one of the first countries in Europe to adopt radio communication, it was a relative latecomer to television. Unlike the United Kingdom (1922), France (1935) and Italy (1954), the Government of Ireland did not adopt television until 1961. Before the launch of RTÉ, limited television service was available from Northern Ireland through BBC Northern Ireland and UTV. The Irish government considered television a luxury and did not allow Radio Éireann to set up television service for several years.
During the late 1950s, a television committee was formed to set up Irish television service with as little financial commitment from Dublin as possible. It initially recommended a service similar to the UK's ITV, using five mountains as transmission sites which were also equipped with FM radio transmitters. Because Prime Minister Éamon de Valera was wary of television, nothing occurred until Seán Lemass succeeded him in 1959. A year later, Radio Éireann was converted from an arm of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs to a quasi-state body and given responsibility for television. Eamonn Andrews was appointed chairman.
Telefís Éireann began broadcasting at 19:00 on 31 December 1961. It was originally intended to open on 25 December of that year, but Andrews gave the Radio Éireann staff time off for Christmas. The opening address by de Valera—now President of Ireland—described the benefits and disadvantages of the new medium. There were other messages from Cardinal d'Alton and Lemass, followed by a live concert from the Gresham Hotel in Dublin. The programme, which was a countdown to the New Year, was hosted by Andrews and included appearances by Patrick O'Hagan, the Artane Boys' Band and Michael O'Hehir.
Television opened a new world to the Irish people. Controversial topics such as abortion and contraception were openly discussed in television programmes such as The Late Late Show, which began in July 1962 and continues on RTÉ One.
RTÉ was the first broadcaster to use the System I 625-line system in 1962, two years before the launch of BBC Two in that format. Its first colour broadcast was transmitted in 1969, although a mistake in standards conversion may have transmitted the 1968 Wimbledon Men's Finals in colour. The first programme made in colour by RTÉ was the documentary special, John Hume's Derry, shown under the 7 Days banner. Since 1969, RTÉ can transmit programmes made in colour which were imported from UK and the US. Ireland's first outside broadcasts in colour were the country's hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest 1971 and the Railway Cup Finals 1971. The first RTÉ studio in Donnybrook was equipped for colour broadcasts in 1972, followed by the news studios in 1974. The last studio in RTÉ to be converted to colour (in 1976) was Studio 1, home of The Late Late Show.
In 1977 a new government came to power, and quickly authorised a second television station run by RTÉ. The new station, RTÉ 2, went on the air on 2 November 1978; the opening night featured a variety show from Cork Opera House. RTÉ 2's remit was to provide alternative television; its schedule included live relays of British programmes and original programming. In 1987, RTÉ 2 was renamed Network 2 to revive flagging ratings; many viewers preferred BBC Northern Ireland or UTV, both of which are accessible in much of the Republic. In 1992 RTÉ became a shareholder in Euronews, a 24-hour European news channel operated by members of the European Broadcasting Union.
John Bowman wrote Window and Mirror: RTÉ Television 1961–2011, a history of the service, for its 50th anniversary. The book was launched by Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the National Museum in Dublin on 23 November 2011. TV50 was launched by RTÉ on 26 December 2011 to celebrate 50 years of Irish television in 2012.
|RTÉ One||RTÉ Two||Other channels*||TG4 support|
*Includes digital radio services.
RTÉ Television has five scheduling strands. RTÉ One, aimed at a mainstream audience, is the main broadcaster of news, current affairs and original drama. RTÉ2 provides the majority of entertainment, comedy, children's programming and sports. RTÉ One +1 airs from 7 pm as RTÉ One's timeshift channel, time-sharing with RTÉjr (which begins at 7 am daily with programming for pre-school children). RTÉ News Now provides rotating broadcasts of RTÉ One's main news programmes.
On 8 August 2012, RTÉ Television confirmed its 2012–2013 autumn-winter schedule. The season saw the return of the critically acclaimed Irish drama series Love/Hate for a third season and Raw for a fifth season, with the addition of the co-produced Irish drama The Fall (starring Gillian Anderson). The Late Late Show, The Frontline and The Saturday Night Show also returned. RTÉ was Europe's first broadcaster to present the new seasons of US series The Good Wife, Homeland, CSI Las Vegas, CSI New York and New Girl. The season featured 114 new and returning home-produced programmes (including the Voice of Ireland, Operation Transformation and Celebrity Bainisteoir, and RTÉ Television confirmed new programming for its digital channels.
The broadcaster introduced its 2015–2016 season in August 2015. It included the return of The Voice of Ireland, The Late Late Show, the Saturday Night Show with Ray D'Arcy (all RTÉ One), Gotham and New Girl (both RTÉ2).
RTÉ Television announced the 2018–2019 seasons for RTÉ One and RTÉ2 on 16 August 2018. New Irish-produced dramas included Resistance (based on events surrounding the Irish War of Independence and a sequel of 2016's popular drama series Rebellion) and Taken Down, an Irish drama series starring Aissa Maiga, Lynn Rafferty, Brian Gleeson, Orla Fitzgerald and Barry Ward. RTÉ2 is focusing on new Irish comedy, including Amy Huberman's Finding Joy, the return of Bridget & Eamon and Podge and Rodge. Imported dramas include BBC America's Killing Eve and season three of The Handmaid's Tale.
RTÉ Player International offers audiences outside the Republic of Ireland to stream content available across RTÉ’s channels and archived content. The service is a subscription based service.
Meanwhile, RTÉ’s channels are widely available in Northern Ireland through multiple television service providers. However, some content is blocked due to broadcasting rights issues.
In January 2007, RTÉ announced plans to launch a channel (with the working title of RTÉ International) which would offer programmes from RTÉ One and RTÉ2 and TG4. It would be initially available in Britain before expanding into Europe, North America and Australia.
RTÉ news, current-affairs programmes and specials, such as the St. Patrick's Day parade and Easter Mass, were freely streamed live around the world on 17 March 2007. RTÉ have launched an international version of the RTÉ player, which provides access to RTÉ News Now as a live stream and access to many Irish-made programmes.
RTÉ introduced digital on-screen graphics for RTÉ One and RTÉ Two in 2004. This has been somewhat controversial, despite TV3 using them from the outset and TG4 since 1999. In late 2004, RTÉ produced the third series of the talent show You're a Star in widescreen (16:9 aspect ratio). Although this was RTÉ's first official 16:9 production, the programme was not available to viewers in 16:9 format even on digital platforms. Instead, it was broadcast in 14:9 "letterbox" format. In March 2005, RTÉ One and RTÉ Two began broadcasting some programmes in 16:9 format on digital platforms; this was followed by a switchover to 16:9 output on both channels in May 2005, except for a few programmes.
Since 2003, RTÉ has branded its television programmes in a number of genres. Each genre operates broadly under a commissioning editor, except for RTÉ News and Current Affairs (separately structured and controlled). The genres are;
- RTÉ Arts – producing cultural shows and documentaries
- RTÉ Diversity – producing programming which promotes intercultural dialogue, Irish language and people with disabilities
- RTÉ Religious – religious programming
- RTÉ Drama – soap operas and other drama series and shows
- RTÉ Education – educational programming for children and adults
- RTÉ Entertainment – chat shows, comedy and reality shows
- RTÉ Factual – current documentaries and scientific programming
- RTÉ History – historical documentaries
- RTÉ Music – all types of music, including classical, traditional Irish and pop-rock
- RTÉ News and Current Affairs – news and current affairs
- RTÉ Sport – Irish and international sporting events
- RTÉ Weather – weather in Ireland and global forecasts
- RTÉ Young People's Programming – shows for children and teenagers
- "Irish Public Service Broadcasting – 1960s". RTÉ Libraries and Archives. 18 April 2006. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
- "Strategy 2012–2017" (PDF). Retrieved 3 January 2019.
- "Irish TV- 1950s". Irish TV. Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
- "The Late Late Show Homepage". RTÉ Publishing. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
- "John Bowman's history of RTÉ book launched". RTÉ News. 24 November 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- "RTÉ launches TV50". RTÉ Ten. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 26 December 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
- RTÉ News (PDF) http://static.rasset.ie/documents/about/2012-english-annual-report-for-the-web.pdf. Missing or empty
-  Archived 10 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- The Irish Times http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/0808/breaking37.html. Missing or empty
- "The Voice of Ireland to return to RTÉ One in 2016". rte.ie. 13 June 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
- "RTÉ launches first-rate new autumn season". RTÉ. 17 August 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
- The Sunday Times: RTÉ to launch expat service 14 January 2007
- "New catch-up TV service launched on RTÉ.ie". RTÉ. 21 April 2009. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
- "RTÉ Player International". RTÉ News. 13 January 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2010.