Rewind – a Look Back at the Irish TV Landscape in 2012

2012 was a landmark year for the TV market. It was a year that saw RTÉ unveil their new trading model which came into effect in July. It also saw public consultations held on the proposed Children’s Code with the resulting HFSS rules due to come into effect this year. It was a year that heralded the end of analogue TV, when Digital switch over finally happened on October 24th.

Where programming was concerned, we bid farewell to TV favourite Desperate Housewives, when its last ever episode aired in June, after eight successful seasons on RTÉ2. We were introduced to new ones, such as Chris O’Dowd’s Moone Boy, which proved to be one of Sky 1’s top rating programmes of the year. We even saw iconic 80′s series, Dallas, return to our screens after a 21 year hiatus. It aired on Monday nights on TV3, complete with the bad guy everyone loves to hate, J.R. Ewing.

2012 saw an additional nine channels made available to Irish advertisers over the course of the year. Six of these were new Sky opt outs, including Dave and Sky 2, and the remainder were the new RTÉ digital channels (such as RTÉ2HD and RTÉ1+1). In May, UPC launched on-demand TV – a TV catch-up service which includes over 1,200 hours of TV box sets for free. 2012 was also a massive sporting year with the Euros and the Olympics bookending the summer – delivering hours of entertaining TV coverage on RTÉ and BBC. Who could forget the lavish visual spectacle that was the Olympics opening ceremony?

In spite of this, 2012 was a year that saw the TV market perform below expectation (-10%) TV viewing was down, on the whole, across the year which was exacerbated by the digital switch over at the back end of the year.

[Source: DDS]


Predictably, RTÉ’s Late Late Toy Show delivered the biggest viewing audience of the year. Not surprising, given the year that was, sport featured prominently among the top 20 most watched TV shows of 2012. The somewhat deflating Irish games in Euro 2012, Katie Ta
ylor’s sensational Olympic final on August 9th, and of course, the GAA football final and two hurling finals all making the cut. TV3’s top performers were Coronation StreetThe X-Factor Final and Dallas. Leading Sky’s TV offerings were Moone Boy, MTV’s Geordie Shore and the Got to Dance final in March which saw Irish dance troop Prodajig crowned winners.

[Source: AdvantEdge]
So the scene is set for 2013… TV is digital… nearly 40% of homes have a PVR (although live viewing is still very high at 93%) and the phenomena of multi-screening and social TV are well recognised. To borrow from Bob Dylan, “the times they are a-changin” when it comes to how we consume TV. It will be interesting to see what 2013 brings to the table.

We’ve been trying to think of our favourite moments of 2012 but would love to hear yours, so let us know below!  Top of of our lists include:

Damn it! I can’t find my driving moccasins anywhere!” – Schmidt, New Girl

“Zou bisou bisou” - Megan’s French song in Mad Men

She is a TRAMPIRE! That’s what she is!” – Will Ferrell on Conan.