RTÉ Two is a free-to-air general entertainment channel operated by Irish national broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann. RTÉ Two is available throughout Ireland on the digital terrestrial service Saorview and via satellite television to subscribers of Sky. Cable providers, including UPC Ireland (in the Republic of Ireland) and Virgin Media (in Northern Ireland), also provide the channel and, in Northern Ireland, it is carried on the Freeview service.
Launched : 2 November 1978 (SD) – 26 May 2011 (HD)
Owned by : Raidió Teilifís Éireann
Picture format : 576i 16:9 (SDTV) – 1080i 16:9 (HDTV)
Audience share : 10.0% (31 December 2012, )
Slogan : “Youthful, Vibrant and Innovative”
Language : English , Irish
Broadcast area : Ireland , Worldwide (online with restricted and unrestricted programming)
Headquarters : Montrose, Donnybrook, Dublin
Sister channel(s) : RTÉ One , RTÉ News Now , RTÉjr , TRTÉ
In the 1970s the Irish government considered three options for the introduction of a second television service: the re-transmission of BBC1 Northern Ireland; authorization of an independent commercial service; or charging RTÉ with the establishment of a second national channel. It was the last of these that was finally chosen.
RTÉ 2 (1978–1988)
60% of the Republic of Ireland could receive UK channels via spillover or via cable. Cable in the republic was only permitted in areas of spillover up to the mid-1980s, to provide viewers with better reception of channels they could already receive over the air. Hence RTÉ Two was aimed at those that did not have the UK channels. To this end one of their main remits was the re-broadcasting of UK programming to Irish audiences, that would not otherwise be seen on RTÉ 1. Coronation Street aired on the channel simultaneously with ITV’s broadcasts of the programme (this continued until 1992 when it was put on RTÉ 1 due to the Olympic Games coverage). It broadcast much live programming from the BBC and ITV. However the channel in its initial format was not considered a success.
However by 1987 RTÉ 2 was beginning to rebrand, RTÉ had relaunch with a new logo and both RTÉ 1 and 2 this year had similar idents. While the rebrand was a small success for both channels it was felt that RTÉ 2 and RTÉ 1 needed more specific audiences, RTÉ 2 at this stage was becoming more and more associated with youth orientated programming and sports programming (especially as UK channels were becoming more and more available across the country). In 1988 the majority of sporting and children’s programming was moved to Network 2, the new name for RTÉ 2.
Network 2 (1988–1997)
There was another major revamp in 1997, the channel was visually rebranded as “N2”, though announcers continued to refer to “Network 2”. N2 brought about perhaps as big a change as the original relaunch, RTÉ branding was dropped from the station almost completely, with home produced programmes now being referred to as “N2 Productions” (foreign imports were “N2 Presentations”). A futuristic logo along with a series of unusual graphical idents were developed. In-vision announcing returned. More importantly, the channel’s line-up was completely refreshed. The late night schedule was completely revamped, with the launch of News 2—a tailored bulletin for young people—followed by a talk show, Later On 2. Monday nights became comedy nights, with the launch of home-produced comedy such as Don’t Feed The Gondolas. Elsewhere theme nights became a regular fixture, particularly on Fridays and Saturdays. The Den was now broadcast all day until 18:00 and was renamed Den 2.
From September 2003, continuity announcers and trailers began to refer to the channel by the fuller title of “RTÉ Network Two”, in line with a new RTÉ initiative to promote the corporate branding. The main channel idents never changed, and said merely “N2” (although a newly introduced on-screen DOG said “RTÉ N2”.). And finally in 2004 Network 2 was relaunched as RTÉ Two, in line with its sister channel RTÉ One.
RTÉ Two (2004- )
RTÉ decided that the channel needed another revamp to keep it fresh. The channel’s name reverted to RTÉ Two on the morning of 2 October 2004, with a themed evening of programmes called “Farewell Network 2” beginning at 20:00, featuring Podge and Rodge (see The Den). The new logo is similar in style to the current RTÉ One logo. The new branding is designed to promote the Irishness of the station, green is the dominant colour. New strands were developed. In particular, the number of Irish made programmes has increased, though some of this is made up of a new strand of early evening repeats. The idents from this time were based on a Green Room theme.
The latest change has been a complete rebrand and relaunch of The Den, on Saturday 17 September 2005, with the id Two strand becoming TTV on the following Monday. In September 2009 TTV relaunched as Two Tube. RTÉ Two got a new look on 17 September 2009. The new idents were created by RTÉ Graphic Design.
Continuing with the corporate branding of RTÉ radio and Television stations RTÉ TWO’s iconic children’s brand The Den ended on the 20 of September 2010. The Den was replaced by TRTÉ, while Den Tots was replaced by RTÉjr, this was due mainly to the on set of digital TV on which RTÉjr is available as a separate channel. Two Tube remains as the teenage block of programming. RTÉ Two continues to air a block of programming from RTÉjr.
RTÉ Two Frequency on ;
Channel 2 (HD)
Channel 53 (NI only)
Saorsat Ka-Sat 9A (9.0°E)
TP 20185 L
Channel 102 (SD/HD)
Channel 115 (SD/HD)
Sky (NI only)
Channel 162 (SD/HD)
Channel 227 (SD/HD)
Astra 1N / 2A / 2F at 28.2° East
10744 POL : H SR : 22000 FEC : 5/6
DVB-S/MPEG-2 – DVB-S/MPEG-4
Channel 135 (HD)
Channel 876 (NI only)
RTE 2 Football Coverage
Men´s International Football Team – both competitive and friendly matches.
FIFA World Cup (2014)
UEFA Champions League (2012-2015)
RTE Sport has retained the broadcasting rights for the Uefa Champions League on RTE platforms, which it will share with TV3 and Setanta Sports in Ireland. TV3 will have first choice for Tuesday match. RTE Two and simulcast on RTE HD, public broadcaster RTE will have first choice for best Wednesday match. Each will have the respective highlights programme.
World Cup Qualifying (2012-2013)
Ireland Republic – Airtricity Premier League (2013-2014)