From Academic Kids

Launched:2nd November 1978
Audience Share: 11.0% (May '05)
Previous Names: RTÉ2 (1978-1988), (RTÉ) Network 2 (1988-2004)
Owned By: Radio Telefís Éireann
Terrestrial Analogue:VHF channels G, H, I; UHF channels 26, 33, 43, 56, 57 (PAL I system)
NTL Digital: Republic of Ireland channel 102, Northern Ireland channel 755
Chorus Digital: Channel 2
Satellite:Sky Digital: Channel 102 (ROI only), Channel 268 (NI only)

RTÉ Two (known from 1988 to 2004 as Network 2 or RTÉ Network Two) is Ireland's second-oldest television channel, operated by Irish state broadcaster Radio Telefís Éireann. RTÉ Two is universally available throughout the island of Ireland on the VHF and UHF bands (though VHF has mostly been phased out), and is also available on satellite to Irish subscribers to Sky Digital.



RTÉ Two's main emphasis is on programmes for children and young people, particularly during the daytime, with sports and American imports in the evenings. It is also the home of RTÉ's live sports coverage. The channel's children's strand, The Den runs from 6am to 5pm each weekday, followed by its youth strand, iD Two from 5pm to 7pm. RTÉ News on Two airs each weekday after 10:45pm.

The channel also has a number of other strands, including Two Wild, Two Extreme, and RTÉ Sport on Two. Films are also regularly aired on the channel.


There had been much debate in the 1970s about the choice of channel for the second television transmitter network in the State. Initally, it was favoured using the network for BBC One Northern Ireland, but after much discussion (and lobbying from RTÉ), it was decided that the second channel would be from RTÉ instead.

The channel started broadcasting on 2 November 1978 as RTÉ2. The channel was opened with a gala ceremony from Cork. For the first thirty seconds or so, BBC Two's sound was played instead of the proper soundtrack. Originally the channel broadcast only from in the evening. It broadcast much live programming from the BBC and ITV. However the channel in its initial format was not considered a success.

Network 2

In September 1988, RTÉ2 was given a major revamp and became Network 2. In addition to the launch of a new vivid red, blue, and green logo, the channel now came on air at 2:30pm. The Den was moved to the channel, along with most youth and childrens programming. Jo-Maxi was launched as the youth strand. Sports Stadium took up the entire Saturday afternoon schedule, and all sports programming was aired on the channel, along with Irish language programming. A late night news bulletin, Network News, was also added.

This relaunch was a big success, and Network 2 remained stable until the mid-1990s. A new logo - referring to the channel as RTÉ Network Two (though the "RTÉ" part was not referred by announcers), was launched with the new RTÉ logo in 1995. By this time, RTÉ Network Two broadcast from mid-morning onwards, with educational programmes during the day. Also during this era, the channel experimented with late night broadcasts at weekends, under the Night Shift brand, anchored by Barry Murphy.

The "N2" era

There was another major relaunch 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 compeletely, with home produced programmes now being referred to as "N2 Productions" (foriegn imports were "N2 Presentations"). A futuristic logo along with a series of weird 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 Two. 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 6pm and was renamed Den 2.

Not all the changes were universally welcomed, with the "N2" era, RTÉ cancelled its long running Saturday sports programme, Sports Stadium. Since then, RTÉ has not regularly aired live sports (or at least, as part of a regular schedule) on Saturday afternoons, though major events are still covered.


Many of the innovations of the N2 era had faded out by 2003. The idents had been replaced by simplar creations, the in-vision continuity had been scrapped again. Later on Two had more-or-less ended (one of the strands continues as The View on RTÉ One). In September 2003, News 2 was reverted back to the regular RTÉ News format (as RTÉ News on Two).

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 initative 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".).

RTÉ decided that the channel needed another revamp to keep it fresh. The channel's name was reverted to RTÉ Two on 2nd October 2004 at 8pm, with an accompanying publicity campaign featuring Podge and Rodge (see The Den). The new logo is similar in style to the current RTE 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.

See also

Radio Telefís Éireann Missing image
corporate logo

Television: RTÉ One | RTÉ Two | TG4

Radio: RTÉ Radio 1 | 2FM | RTÉ Lyric FM | Raidió na Gaeltachta


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