RTÉ 2 is owned and operated by RTÉ, Ireland’s public service broadcaster. The most recent data available shows that RTÉ2 reaches 67.6% of Irish adults and has a 7% share of the TV audience.

RTÉ2 is aimed at a younger demographic, people up to 45 years of age with the core audience in the 15-34 age group. Content on the station is varied with entertainment the main focus. The station broadcasts a mix of comedy, lifestyle, sport and documentaries with a mix of Irish produced and imported content. Children’s content is also broadcast on the station from 7.50am to 4.20pm

News content on RTÉ2 is also aimed at a younger demographic with a daily morning and afternoon, news2day. This 10-minute programme focuses on national and international news that is of interest to a younger audience. RTÉ2 also broadcasts syndicated news content from Euronews from 2am to 6am when the station is off air. Since its launch RTÉ2 has reduced news and current affairs programming over time to the current levels. Initially there was space on the schedule for late night news and current affairs programming, mainly aimed at a younger age group. However, over time content on the station has shifted to focus mainly on entertainment, sports and children's content.

RTÉ2 is owned by RTÉ the Irish Public Service Broadcaster which is ultimately controlled by the RTÉ Board, chaired by Siún Ní Raghallaigh. Day to day operations and management of the station lie under the remit of the Director of Content, a post currently held by Jim Jennings, and the Deputy Director of Content Niamh O’Connor. As the channel’s focus is on entertainment programming, Alan Tyler, Group Head of Entertainment and Music plays a significant role in commissioning and purchasing entertainment programming for RTÉ.

RTÉ2 began broadcasting in 1978 and was aimed at the Irish public who didn’t have access to the transmission overspill of UK Television services like BBC and ITV. For the first decade RTÉ2 was only broadcast in the evening post 6pm, it wasn’t until the 1990s that the schedule expanded to morning and afternoon.

Throughout this decade the government had grappled with how to provide an additional TV station for Irish viewers. Up to this point only people living along the border with Northern Ireland or on the East coast had access to additional stations due to transmission overspill from UK broadcasters such as BBC and ITV. Three modes of delivery for a new station were considered, re-transmission of BBC1 in the Republic of Ireland, licensing of a new commercial service or getting RTÉ establish and manage a new station.

Originally the station broadcast UK content to Irish homes with simulcasts of programmes such as live music programme Top of the Pops and soap opera Coronation Street. During its first decade this expanded to include American sitcoms and dramas and then in the 1990s the addition of Australian programming. In the 1990s children’s programming became a central feature of the morning and early afternoon schedule, followed by programming aimed at teenagers in the late afternoon/early evening. Throughout the 1990s RTÉ2 was the home of prime time American programming for Irish Audiences in the target age range. From the early 2000s RTÉ2 began investing heavily in Irish produced programming in drama, comedy and reality TV genres. In 2009 RTÉ launched the RTÉ Player allowing viewers to access live and on Demand TV via their laptops or mobile devices. In recent years RTÉ has invested in content commissioned and produced specifically for the Player.

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Free content

Active Transparency

company/channel informs proactively and comprehensively about its ownership, data is constantly updated and easily verifiable

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Ownership Structure

RTÉ is Ireland’s Public Service Broadcaster, as such it is publicly funded and is set up as a Statutory State Body. It is owned by the RTÉ Board and for the purposes of this project we treat the chair of the board Siún Ní Raghallaigh as the ultimate global owner. We also provide details of every board and interim leadership team member. Within this structure there are no shareholders and no dividends are paid, RTÉ operates a dual funding model where income is derived from a public Licence Fee, collected by An Post for the State and advertising revenue from its various platforms.

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General Information

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Affiliated Interests Founder

Dick Hill

First Programme Controller of RTÉ2, Dick Hill was the first Programme Controller for RTÉ2 on its launch in 1978. Originally from County Cork after finishing secondary school he worked as a lab assistant with Gouldings Fertilizers. He went on to study Physiography and Botany at Trinity College Dublin.

After University, he joined RTÉ as a researcher working on news magazine programme Newsbeat and then as a producer on Seven Days/7 Days, an RTÉ produced current affairs programme which investigated social issues in Ireland. After a number of years as a Facilities Manager in RTÉ he became Head of Features and subsequently Controller of Programmes in 1978 when he was assigned to the new RTÉ2 station.

He worked with RTÉ until 1986 when he returned to Cork to take on the role of General Manager of the Cork Opera House. His later career included working with independent TV production companies CoCo and Peripheral, both of which were commissioned to produce content for RTÉ. He also worked with Ireland FM which was later rebranded to Today FM. He lived in Cobh until he passed away in 2010.

Affiliated Interests Ceo

Kevin Bakhurst

RTÉ Director General, Kevin Bakhurst became Director General of RTÉ in July 2023 following the resignation of Dee Forbes by request of the RTÉ Board in the midst of the Ryan Tubridy payments scandal.

Between 2006 and 2012 Kevin Bakhurst worked in senior editorial and Director level positions in BBC News. In 2012 he moved to work with RTÉ as Managing Director of News & Current Affairs at RTÉ and Deputy Director General from 2012 to 2016. During this time he was a member of the RTÉ Executive and acting Director General for six months.

On leaving RTÉ in 2016 he moved to work with Ofcom, the media regulator in the United Kingdom as Group Director for Broadcasting and Online and was also a member of Ofcom Board. At Ofcom he was responsible for setting Broadcast Strategy and Policy, creating and implementing the regulation framework for the BBC and editorial standards for UK broadcasters. He also led work on the future of Public Service Broadcasting in the UK. He also led work on the Online Safety Policy for the UK.

Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief

Jim Jennings

RTÉ Director of Content, Jim Jennings oversees RTÉ’s production of TV, radio and online content. He joined RTÉ Radio 1 in 1985, working first in features and current affairs on programmes then moved to television in 1989, working as a producer - including as Executive Producer of The Late Late Show. In 2013 he became Managing Director of RTÉ Radio and in 2017 took on his current role as Director of Content following an organisational restructure and was appointed to the RTÉ Executive as holder of the post. In 2023 following the revelations of payment irregularities at RTÉ Kevin Bakhurst dissolved the RTÉ Executive and replaced it with an Interim Leadership Group, excluding Jim Jennings due to illness and appointing Deputy Director of Content Niamh O’Connor in his place on the Interim Board.




Dublin 4

Telephone: +353 (0) 1 208 3111

Website: www.rte.ie

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Meta Data

RTÉ does not report financial data at station level.
Audience Share from: TV Reach and Share Report August 2023 - TAM Ireland Television Audience Measurement Ireland Reach and Share Report. Share is based on the proportion of all TV viewers nationally that have watched RTÉ 2.
Within the media industry in Ireland reporting on income levels are generally at group level rather than individual title level. On top of this, overall revenue details for the market as a whole are unavailable. Due to these factors it is not possible to report accurately on market share for individual titles or groups.

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