Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Irish Pirate Radio Museum Update

Firstly my apologies for the tardiness of an update but some family issues have taken precedence. Some months ago I organised a meeting with the aim of hopefully launching an exhibition or museum dedicated to Irish Pirate Radio and it was a great start in Branigans with some excellent suggestions.

 I have been honoured and privileged to have received the donation of two private collections of pirate radio memorabilia and hopefully in the not too distant future everyone will enjoy the extent of these archives.
I have been in touch with Libraries, galleries and have made contact with both the Arts Council and Heritage departments with the view of either securing grant funding or a venue to display these great collections and delivering the story of Irish pirate radio, an integral part of Irish broadcasting history and Irish history.

A business plan has been drawn up and the archives catalogued and with your help we may be able to secure sustainable funding from a benefactor who has an interest in Irish media history and education or find a donor of a venue especially as we reach the 30th anniversary of the introduction of the 1988 Wireless Telegraphy Act.

Monday, May 22, 2017


Ireland has a long and colourful pirate radio history dating back to the iconic events of 1916 and the world's first pirate radio broadcasts during the Easter Rising. Hundreds of pirate radio stations have broadcast across Ireland. These pioneers have led to a revolution in Irish radio and have led us to our radio of today.

No exhibition, gallery collection or museum exists to celebrate, commemorate or document the stories of these stations many of them still fondly remembered today. These stations have produced many of our broadcasters of today both at home and abroad. A wealth of material exists but as we move further from those halcyon days these need to be archived to educate and inform future generations of listeners, presenters, producers and technicians.

It is remiss of us as a nation not to have gathered this memorabilia and that the most extensive Irish radio archive is based in Scotland curated by the wonderful lads at the DX Archive.

A meeting will take place upstairs at Branigan's pub just off O'Connell Street near the 
Pro Cathedral on June 7th 2017 beginning at 7pm Sharp

If you are a broadcaster, a former pirate radio employee or operator or just an anorak with boxes of memorabilia gathering dust in your attic then this meeting is for you. The discussion will cover plans for a gallery exhibition or a permanent pirate radio museum, how the items should be collected, archived and curated and the most important question how it should be funded.

Please share this event on your social media platforms and with relevant media outlets. Thank you.
Further information contact Eddie Bohan at irishbroadcastinghalloffame@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

RTE's Dancing With The Stars and Profit Salsa

For the first months of 2017, RTE's Sunday night primetime was dominated with Waltz's, Rumba's and Cha Cha Cha's as RTE One broadcast 'Dancing with the Stars' (DWTS). Franchised from the BBC's original format 'Strictly Come Dancing', the show was a ratings winner and the question that looms large for the state broadcasters commissioning department is 'will there be a second series?'.

Eleven Irish celebrities with limited dancing experience were paired with eleven professional ballroom dancers as week after week one of the dancing couples were voted off by a combination of Judges scores and the voting public. Eventually just three were left in the final aired on March 26th 2017 with former Kerry footballer and member of an Garda Siochana Aidan O'Mahony with his dancing partner Valeria Milova taking home the prized glitterball.

Was it worth the money to produce such a series? Recently the BBC announced that a 51st country had licensed the franchise earning the Corporation 500,000,000 working out at an average of £10 million to licence the show and while RTE as a small market probably paid little or nothing like that cost through their independent production company Shinawil there was still a significant expense.

The series lasted twelve weeks on RTE One and repeated later in the week with +1 and on demand available. The show also spawned a secondary thirty minuted show 'Can't Stop Dancing'on RTE 1. Viewership was in excess of 500,000 every week often as high as 650,000 topping the weekly ratings. But the show was expensive to produce with costs such as

11 Celebrities earning approximately € 250,000 between them
11 Professional Dancers earning approximately €135,000 between them
2 Main Presenters (Amanda Byram and Nicky Byrne)
2 Can't Stop Dancing Hosts
3 Judges (Brian Redmond, Lorraine Barry and Julian Benson)
The Hiring of the Ardmore Studios
TV Crew and OB Units
Transport, hotel and accommodation
Dance Studio rental in East Wall

But the show generated a large amount of revenue for RTE. The show had a headline sponsor in Renault Cars and according to marketing.ie believed to be in the region of € 450,000. RTE sales department advertised a 30 second commercial aired during the show at €8,600 on Sunday night primetime with the same time during the repeat costing € 1,800. A 30 second ad during the 30 minute 'extra' show costs the advertiser €4,900 on Friday night primetime just before the 9pm news.

The final had five ad breaks opening with a Renault 'we sponsor' tag followed by a number of RTE programme promos and then over the five breaks 34 adverts. The two hour final show would generate €292,400. The previous weekly shows were just 90 minutes long containing 25 adverts per show. Based on just what is available online the information translates to the following financial position of the show.

34 adverts on the Final @ € 8,600 = 292,400
25 ads x 11 weeks  € 8,600          = 2,365,000
Headline Sponsor                          = 450,000
Repeats x 12 weeks                      = 550,000
Can't Stop Dancing x 12 weeks     = 500,000
TOTAL                                        = € 4,257,000

To be added to this is profits made from the voting text lines provided by Phonovation x 9 weeks @ 60c per vote and a competition sponsored by Aer Lingus and MSG Cruises @ €2.03 per entry.

Season Two??? I would say so

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Complete Radio Station List - Ireland 1900-2000 Part Six

The book, 'A History of Irish Radio 1900-2000' is almost complete, alas it will have to be poured over now by legal departments. The index is as follows

Chapter One - The Introduction
Chapter Two - In the Beginning 1900-1910 and The Marconi Era
Chapter Three - Rebel Radio, the broadcasts of 1916
Chapter Four - The Fledgling Twenties
Chapter Five - The Radio Evolution 1930's
Chapter Six - Dangerous Forties
Chapter Seven - Stagnant Fifties and the Arrival of Television
Chapter Eight - The Swinging, Broadcasting Sixties
Chapter Nine - Irish Radio On The Edge
Chapter Ten - The Radio Revolution - 1980's
Chapter Eleven - Two Steps Forward & One Back 1990s
Chapter Twelve - Context


The Complete Radio Station List - Ireland 1900-2000 Part Five