Ch. 6 blankets Ireland with Sky


Ireland's newest free-to-air channel, Channel 6, has secured total national distribution after less than a year on the air.

Initially launching in March on Ireland's two major cable systems, Chorus and NTL, Channel 6 will now be included on the Sky satellite platform under the channel's newest carriage agreement.

"Prior to this channel launching, there were no independent, fully Irish-funded and owned entertainment channels," Michael Murphy, founder and director of programs, said Monday. "With the support of our distribution partners at NTL and Chorus, and now at Sky, we anticipate even greater growth in our ratings and overall awareness of the channel this year."

Channel 6 has programming deals with all the major Hollywood studios. Its most recent deal was inked at NATPE in January with CBS Paramount International Television Distribution for the first-run rights to the talk and cooking series "Rachael Ray."

Its program schedule also includes such first-run series as "House," "My Name Is Earl" and "The Office."

In the next few weeks, Channel 6 will launch a new national advertising and marketing campaign, Murphy said.