Irish commercial station Channel 6 is calling for new must carry legislation that would give Irish channels priority on the EPGs of multichannel operators. Channel 6 is about to launch on Sky Digital, but has been offered a low position when compared to those held by the Irish public broadcaster RTE.
The Irish version of the Sky Guide mirrors that of the UK. The key differences is that instead of BBC and ITV channels filling the early numbers, these have been given to RTE, TV3 and TG4, with channels such as Sky One and UK Gold filling up the places on both sides of the Irish Sea. By contrast the UPC-owned Chorus and NTL have both given Irish channels priority on their EPGs.
Channel 6 says that without positive discrimination new Irish channels are placed at a “severe disadvantage”. The channels are also under threat from the increasing number of Irish advertising windows on UK channels broadcasting into the Irish market.