Channel 6 to launch across Ireland in March
A new broadcast station in Ireland wrapped up its first programming supply deal with Hollywood studios at last week’s NATPE confab, buying a package of TV series from CBS Paramount Intl. TV. Other deals with other Hollywood heavyweights are in the works.The newly christened Channel 6, which boasts $18 million in startup funding, will launch across Ireland in March. Key series in the deal with CBS-Par is drama “Numbers.” Also included are older shows such as “Sex and the City,” “Frasier,” “7th Heaven” and the inevitable stalwart “Star Trek” — all of which have been previously exposed on the Emerald Isle. Agreement was unveiled late last week in Vegas by Channel 6 founder and director of programming Michael Murphy and CBS Par Intl. TV prexy Armando Nunez. No dollar value was available for the multiyear deal. “Our focus is on providing Irish viewers with a mix of both local and international entertainment programming,” Murphy said. CBS Paramount no longer has movies to sell, as its former sister company Paramount Intl. TV will, post-Viacom split, license all Par feature films (old and new) under the direction of former DreamWorks distribution topper Hal Richardson. (Richardson will take over that role once the Par buyout of DreamWorks is complete.) Ireland’s Channel 6 is looking for U.S. series, movies and music shows and plans to target younger auds. Dublin-based service, backed by a number of local private equity and investment firms, will be the first new station in the country since 1998. Pat Donnelly, former CEO of Aegis Media in Ireland, is an investor in the startup outlet, of which he is executive chairman.