TV3 set to transform into Virgin Media Television

Irish commercial broadcaster TV3, a major platform for sport in the country, is set to be rebranded as Virgin Media Television.

Virgin Media is a wholly-owned subsidiary of media group Liberty Global and the rebranding follows its acquisition of TV3 in 2015.

TV3 has since had a number of successes in the sports rights market, including outbidding public-service broadcaster RTÉ for the Six Nations rugby union championship under a four-year deal that is set to commence with the 2018 competition.

TV3 acquired rights to the 2017-18 season of the Formula E electric car-racing series in November, while the end of 2016 again saw it overcome competition from RTÉ for the Irish broadcast rights to horse racing’s Cheltenham and Aintree festivals from 2017 to 2020.

The Irish Times newspaper said the rebrand is expected to take place ahead of the 20th anniversary of TV3’s first broadcast – on September 20, 1998 – as Ireland’s first commercial free-to-air channel.