Sky Ireland is looking to invest in new programming with the announcement of €2.2 million to invest in new productions.
Director of programmes at Sky Entertainment Zai Bennett and other Sky executives are believed to have visited Dublin in recent months to meet with independent producers.
"We wanted to formalise it, put a fund in place and go out formally looking for pitches, which we have done," said JD Buckley, managing director of Sky Ireland. "They have until the end of October to come back and pitch ideas and really, we are looking for the next big hit for Sky One. We want one show and clearly, if it is a success, we want to go again next season.
"Three genres have been outlined: factual entertainment; 'scaled entertainment', which is reality-type shows with a twist, such as a link to a movie franchise; and comedy entertainment."
"We view this as the start, rather than a one-off," added Buckley. "For that kind of budget, we could be looking at something pretty significant. Whatever show we commission needs to be able to travel. It will be in Ireland and the UK on Sky One and hopefully it can be sold on internationally."