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TG4, the Irish language television channel is an independent statutory entity (Teilifís na Gaeilge). The channel has been on-air since late 1996.
TG4 is a free-to-air channel, available across all the viewing platforms, with a strong viewer base throughout the island of Ireland. An average of 650,000 viewers a day watch TG4 in the Republic of Ireland. This daily figure exceeds 1 million people on major viewing days like Christmas Day and St. Patrick’s Day.
TG4 is the 8th most popular channel in Ireland with an average share of 2%. This is a very creditable performance in what is one of Europe’s most competitive national television markets, with a very high penetration of digital television homes and the very wide choice of major and specialist channels that digital offers.
TG4 invests over €20m annually in original Irish programming from the independent production sector in Ireland. This investment supports 350 posts in small private sector companies throughout the island.
The channel provides a daily programme schedule in Irish for children and young people. Both of the Cúla4 zones and the Ponc strands for young adults provide a wide range of entertaining and top-quality content in Irish and represent an attractive and entertaining daily point of contact with Irish in a context that is totally different to school.
TG4 is the most positive and high-profile Government policy for the Irish language for the past fifty years. The project has received the support of all parties and Governments since 1992.
The channel's programmes have achieved national recognition, prestigious prizes and awards at home and abroad and sales overseas.
Music, documentary and sports coverage have earned particular praise for TG4. Its regular soap-opera, Ros na Rún has made its mark as has the channel's distinctive news service, Nuacht TG4.
TG4 is acknowledged as one of the most efficient and cost effective television stations in Europe.
The high-skill employment generated by TG4 is of particular importance in the Gaeltacht areas. The channel is the largest and most strategically important investor in the future of sustaining the Gaeltacht.
The Government will provide current funding of €32.75m to TG4 for 2012. TG4 also derives income from selling commercial air-time and programme sponsorship.
The channel's schedule - and its news service in particular - ensures a space for the non-centrist perspective and for emerging talent.
The channel's audience has increased significantly over the past two years. Surveys carried out by leading market research companies show that TG4 is satisfying its core Gaeltacht and Irish language audiences as well as the wider national audience.
TG4 employs a young dedicated core staff of 80 people from all parts of Ireland at its Connemara headquarters.
The channel's signal covers Ireland. It is receivable directly by aerial on both analogue and Saorview in the Republic and on cable throughout the island. It is carried on digital satellite to Sky customers in the Republic and in Northern Ireland and also transmits on analogue terrestrial from a local mast on Divis near Belfast.
TG4 is a public service broadcaster. It provides live coverage of Leaders’ Questions from Dáil Éireann each Wednesday and Thursday.
The functions and duties of TG4 (Teilifís na Gaeilge) are set out in the Broadcasting Act 2009. The entity has a twelve member board, currently chaired by Siún Ní Raghallaigh. TG4 receives a programme supply of 365 hours of Irish language programming annually from RTÉ, at no cost to TG4, as specified in the Broadcasting Act 2009.
TG4 has premiere exclusive live tv rights for a number of top GAA competitions incuding the National Leagues, under 21 and Club Championships, extensive rugby rights including live rights for the RaboDirect Pro12 rugby and, exclusive tv highlight rugby rights in Ireland for the Heineken Cup and Amlin Cup, for the Wimbledon tennis championships and the Tour de France.