|RTÉ Television won a higher percentage of the available Irish television audience in peak-time this September and October than in either of the previous two years.
New home-produced series such as the medical drama 'The Clinic'; the comic capers of Pat Shortt et al in 'Killinaskully'; and RTÉ's brand new chat show for Saturday nights, 'Tubridy Tonight', have attracted big audiences.
These, along with the wide appeal of other key programmes in peak time, have helped to drive the Irish national broadcaster's share of the available audience higher than at any point in the last three years.
In peak-time - between 18.00 and 23.30, the most competitive part of the schedule - RTÉ Television won a total share of 44.9% this September, compared to 41.7% in September 2003 and 42.7% in September 2002. A similar reversal of fortune occurred in October viewing patterns with a 46.1% share for 2004, 41.9% in 2003, and 42.1% for October 2002.
Noel Curran, Managing Director of RTÉ Television, said: "These figures are particularly remarkable given the increasingly competitive nature of the television landscape. Over the past 21 months alone, 20 new channels have been introduced to Irish viewers. One third of the audience has access to digital channels - with up to 200 channels, depending on their service provider. There's more choice, more channels - but viewers are still choosing to watch RTÉ."