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21-07-2009, 23:39   #16
Elmo
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I wrote a lot of stuff on this for the old ICDG website, it might still be on the net somewhere...

I did a family tree there, but it doesn't format properly so I might as well give a brief history of Chorus and NTL.

NTL Ireland had its roots in RTÉ's cable operation, RTÉ Relays, which began in 1970. RTÉ later took over three other cable companies, Dublin Cable Systems (Phoenix-Marlin), Waterford Cablevision, and Galway Cablevision. In 1986 all these companies became Cablelink. In 1990 RTÉ sold a 60% share in Cablelink to Telecom and in 1999 RTÉ and Telecom were ordered to sell the company, the winners being NTL (now Virgin Media).

Chorus has its roots in the Independent Newspapers/TCI buy-up of MMDS franchises under their joint venture Princes Holdings (Horizon Multichannel and East Coast Multichannel) operations in the early 1990s. The cable side came from stakes Princes Holdings built up in Cork Communications which had been established as far back as the early 1980s and Westward Cable which dated from the same era. By the mid 1990s, Princes Holdings operations were all dual branded under the "Multichannel" brand and by the late 1990s they had moved to a single "Irish Multichannel" brand. Meanwhile, outside of Cork and Limerick, lots of the small town cable companies had been both by the CMI (Cable Management Ireland) group which was back by a group of Irish investors including none other than Mike Murphy of RTÉ fame. In 2000, Irish Multichannel bought CMI and another small operator, Suir Nore Relays and became Chorus.

Independent sold its 50% share of Chorus in 2004 to Liberty Global which had grew out of the international operations of TCI. Then, when NTL put the Irish operation up for sale, Liberty Global snapped at the chance to buy and did so in 2005. The two companies ran seperately before beginning an integration process which led to them both being rebranded Chorus NTL in 2007. It is assumed they will be eventually rebranded UPC Ireland, but a final date for that to happen has yet to be announced.
What about the smaller companies around the country that still exist what are the providing and when did they start up?
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21-07-2009, 23:41   #17
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This must be the longest re-brand in history.
What other company would be called Chorus-NTL and have a website upc.ie
It's not as if Chorus or NTL had a great reputation that needed to be kept.

Why are they taking so long? Answers on a postcard to............
Because Chorus NTL don't have a good rep. They want to sort that out before rebranding to UPC.
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21-07-2009, 23:46   #18
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Because Chorus NTL don't have a good rep. They want to sort that out before rebranding to UPC.
Then why even mention the word UPC?
They use it as their website name, and thus it's used on all advertising, it's on the bills, etc.
UPC could easily own Chrous-NTL without Joe Public knowing a thing.... Then when they sort everything out.... they could re-brand.
This double brand approach makes no sense at all.
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21-07-2009, 23:51   #19
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Then why even mention the word UPC?
They use it as their website name, and thus it's used on all advertising, it's on the bills, etc.
UPC could easily own Chrous-NTL without Joe Public knowing a thing.... Then when they sort everything out.... they could re-brand.
This double brand approach makes no sense at all.
I call it UPC and people get confused then I say NTL and then they tell me they don't have NTL they have Chorus
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22-07-2009, 08:30   #20
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The adverts have all three names at present. The vans just UPC.
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22-07-2009, 10:33   #21
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Why is it still called NTL in Ireland, while in England, it's called Virgin Media?
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22-07-2009, 10:36   #22
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Why is it still called NTL in Ireland, while in England, it's called Virgin Media?
It is a different company. NTL UK bought Cablelink and rebranded to NTL. NTL in the US went bankrupted and in the UK merged with Telewest (and another company), NTL Telewest then sold of NTL Ireland to the owners of Chorus (Liberty Global). Liberty Global then rebranded the firm as Chorus NTL. Liberty Global own the European cable company UPC, they plan to relauch Chorus NTL in the near future as UPC. NTL does not exist anymore.

Virgin Media do not trade in the Republic Of Ireland. They now own NTL Telewest.
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22-07-2009, 13:47   #23
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I wrote a lot of stuff on this for the old ICDG website, it might still be on the net somewhere...

I did a family tree there, but it doesn't format properly so I might as well give a brief history of Chorus and NTL.

NTL Ireland had its roots in RTÉ's cable operation, RTÉ Relays, which began in 1970. RTÉ later took over three other cable companies, Dublin Cable Systems (Phoenix-Marlin), Waterford Cablevision, and Galway Cablevision. In 1986 all these companies became Cablelink. In 1990 RTÉ sold a 60% share in Cablelink to Telecom and in 1999 RTÉ and Telecom were ordered to sell the company, the winners being NTL (now Virgin Media).

Chorus has its roots in the Independent Newspapers/TCI buy-up of MMDS franchises under their joint venture Princes Holdings (Horizon Multichannel and East Coast Multichannel) operations in the early 1990s. The cable side came from stakes Princes Holdings built up in Cork Communications which had been established as far back as the early 1980s and Westward Cable which dated from the same era. By the mid 1990s, Princes Holdings operations were all dual branded under the "Multichannel" brand and by the late 1990s they had moved to a single "Irish Multichannel" brand. Meanwhile, outside of Cork and Limerick, lots of the small town cable companies had been both by the CMI (Cable Management Ireland) group which was back by a group of Irish investors including none other than Mike Murphy of RTÉ fame. In 2000, Irish Multichannel bought CMI and another small operator, Suir Nore Relays and became Chorus.

Independent sold its 50% share of Chorus in 2004 to Liberty Global which had grew out of the international operations of TCI. Then, when NTL put the Irish operation up for sale, Liberty Global snapped at the chance to buy and did so in 2005. The two companies ran seperately before beginning an integration process which led to them both being rebranded Chorus NTL in 2007. It is assumed they will be eventually rebranded UPC Ireland, but a final date for that to happen has yet to be announced.
Only a couple of points to add:

RTE were commissioned to cable the Ballymun flats in (I think) 1968 or so. Thus RTE Relays was born. Two other large operators (Marlin and Phoenix) subsequently covered sections of Dublin at the time.

Marlin cabled the first major City outside Dublin (Waterford) in 1974, when the 500 homes to one mast rule was abolished.

These were subsequently bought in the mid-70s by Premier Cablevision of Canada.

Marlin and Phoenix merged, and the merged operation was bought in 1981 by Rogers Cablesystems of Canada. This also brought the then-Waterford Cablevision into the fold. Cork, Galway, and Limerick did not exist at this point.

Over the next few years Cork was cabled (Cork Multichannel) in, I think 1984/5. Around the same time Galway commenced (Connaught Multichannel) and then Limerick (Westward Cables).

In 1984, the story goes, Rogers wanted the rest of Dublin and RTE refused. Rogers then said to RTE that they were out - and RTE bought the then- Cablesystems (Dublin and Waterford). Galway was bought, I think, in 1986 or so. Cablelink was born.

Westward Cables was then taken over by Horizon, then Princes Holdings, and Cork/Limerick became Irish Multichannel. Irish Multichannel subsequently bought up the majority of the smaller operators around the country.

Chorus was born. And subsequently bought by UPC in 2005.

NTL bought Cablelink in 1999 and sold it to UPC in 2006.

I stand corrected, but I think that is the correct sequence.

But what no-one has mentioned here is an Irish operator which is (and has been for thirty years) at the cutting edge of Cable TV/broadband in this country.

In 1979 Casey Cablevision built what was then the longest TV Cable line in Europe (BBC/ITV received at Seefin in the Comeragh Mountains and transported to Dungarvan, County Waterford), 16 miles in length, only superseded by the link to Cork some years later, which was one of the longest in the world at 60 miles.

These lines were built due to the draconian laws in force regarding the use of microwave at the time. In hindsight the laws were idiotic. The money spent on building these humongous 'super-trunks' could have been better invested in the networks proper - but this was 1970s/80s Ireland....and Europe.

The Casey family remain at the forefront, with speeds of 30 Megs and one of the most modern cable systems in the world. And we constantly complain about lack of innovation in this country.
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22-07-2009, 20:07   #24
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Over the next few years Cork was cabled (Cork Multichannel) in, I think 1984/5. Around the same time Galway commenced (Connaught Multichannel) and then Limerick (Westward Cables).
I reliably know it was 1982 that Cork Multichannel began cabling Cork city.

The technical details would be interesting if someone can tell us more than I know-

They (with Canadian technical consultants) originally built a receiving point for what was hoped reliable good reception of the UK channels in the Knockmealdown Mountains, and laid a trunk cable back to Cork city going along the roadside through nearby Lismore, Tallow, (those two small towns were also to be cabled) to the outskirts of Midleton from where the remainder of the journey to Cork city the cable was laid alongside the railway line.
However it transpired that reception on the Knockmealdown mountains was unsatisfactory! They then did a deal (and swallowed their pride?) to use the receiving point at Seefin Mountain in mid Co. Waterford of the Dungarvan cable service, so this involved laying cable from their existing cable at Lismore through Cappoquin (which was also to be cabled) to link up with the Dungarvan 'trunk' cable.

Note if they had decided to use the Dungarvan cable from Day 1, a shorter cable route to Cork city would have been via Youghal.

After about a decade of use the long cable run to Cork city was decommissioned in the early 1990s when microwave links were allowed, with Northern Irish reception provided instead. Cork Multichannel's mini-cable networks in the three small towns of Tallow, Lismore, Cappoquin in west Waterford on the 'super-trunk' route were changed over to being fed from MMDS.

The light-green amplifier boxes at intervals alongside the roadside route have since then mostly disappeared, but attached is a picture of one remaining one spotted just outside Tallow on the road to Lismore a few months ago!
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File Type: jpg cmcneartallow.jpg (955.1 KB, 135 views)

Last edited by Antenna; 22-07-2009 at 21:52.
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22-07-2009, 20:45   #25
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Liberty thus via UPC and previous subsidiary owned Chorus twice.
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22-07-2009, 20:45   #26
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Had no idea Ireland had cable TV in the 70's.

What channels could you get on it back then?
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22-07-2009, 20:45   #27
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BBC & ITV
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22-07-2009, 23:40   #28
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When did they start introducing more channels? I know Sky Channel, Bravo, TCC etc. started around the mid '80s but I don't know how they were distributed to cable networks in the pre-Astra days.

Westward had about 11 channels by 1990-1991. IIRC around that time initially they had The Movie Channel before changing to Sky Movies, so I'm not sure if they had other BSB channels before the merger (they may have had The Sports Channel too, I forget). They also had Sky News, Sky One, Eurosport and TCC (not sure what it was timeshared with, Bravo or The Family Channel maybe?).

There was a receiving point on Keeper Hill, Co. Tipperary, more info here: http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showt...php?p=52022843 (although Watty's pictures are gone ). Not sure if this was initially Westward's or Horizon's, or did they share it?
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23-07-2009, 00:37   #29
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When did they start introducing more channels? I know Sky Channel, Bravo, TCC etc. started around the mid '80s but I don't know how they were distributed to cable networks in the pre-Astra days.
As they were set up. BSkyB began in 1989 ????? hence the channel line up in 1989 and some disruptions with cablelink.

Back in the 1970s there where only 3 UK channels and 1 Irish channel. By 1978 there where 3 UK channels and 2 Irish Channels, 1982 saw four UK channels.
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23-07-2009, 09:53   #30
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I reliably know it was 1982 that Cork Multichannel began cabling Cork city.

The technical details would be interesting if someone can tell us more than I know-

They (with Canadian technical consultants) originally built a receiving point for what was hoped reliable good reception of the UK channels in the Knockmealdown Mountains, and laid a trunk cable back to Cork city going along the roadside through nearby Lismore, Tallow, (those two small towns were also to be cabled) to the outskirts of Midleton from where the remainder of the journey to Cork city the cable was laid alongside the railway line.
However it transpired that reception on the Knockmealdown mountains was unsatisfactory! They then did a deal (and swallowed their pride?) to use the receiving point at Seefin Mountain in mid Co. Waterford of the Dungarvan cable service, so this involved laying cable from their existing cable at Lismore through Cappoquin (which was also to be cabled) to link up with the Dungarvan 'trunk' cable.

Note if they had decided to use the Dungarvan cable from Day 1, a shorter cable route to Cork city would have been via Youghal.

After about a decade of use the long cable run to Cork city was decommissioned in the early 1990s when microwave links were allowed, with Northern Irish reception provided instead. Cork Multichannel's mini-cable networks in the three small towns of Tallow, Lismore, Cappoquin in west Waterford on the 'super-trunk' route were changed over to being fed from MMDS.

The light-green amplifier boxes at intervals alongside the roadside route have since then mostly disappeared, but attached is a picture of one remaining one spotted just outside Tallow on the road to Lismore a few months ago!
Spot on there! Now that box IS a blast from the past. Interestingly, the three applicants for the Cork Licence were Casey TV (Dungarvan); RTE Relays; and the Canadian concern. Interestingly, it was said at the time that Mr. Casey had advised the winning applicants that the Knockmealdown site was very inconsistent, but the advice was ignored. Mr. Casey had spent a couple of years extensively testing sites in the region.

Regarding the channels, here in Waterford anyway, Sky Channel came on in 1986, Super Channel in 1987, and then CNN, MTV, etc over the next three years.

The satellite services were pulled for over a year in a row over fees around 1992.
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