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Saorview Connect

Switching on Saorview Connect with RTÉ

Saorview is Ireland’s national free-to-air digital terrestrial television service and has the largest all-home reach in the country. Owned and managed by RTÉ, the national public service broadcaster in the Republic of Ireland, it launched in 2011.

Saorview consists of two national television multiplexes and is available from 64 digital terrestrial television (DTT) transmitters, reaching 98% of the population.

The challenge

Saorview foresaw challenges from multinational pay TV providers, new TV services from broadband companies and emerging over-the-top TV services.

Saorview sought to create an internet-connected product that would enhance its offering and change perceptions of Saorview as a static brand associated with switchover. They wanted a service that combined the best of linear broadcast with On Demand provision, integrating a forwards and backwards guide, unified search and content recommendations. This would be called Saorview Connect.

Saorview used a competitive procurement process to select a partner able to provide strategic guidance, core technology and operational support. They chose Metaphor, powered by the Freesat team.

The solution

Using their home-grown front and back-end, and support services, Metaphor’s product management experts helped to refine the Saorview Connect proposition, taking the new branding and applying it to the Metaphor TV and mobile applications to create Saorview Connect user interfaces. This included support for both English and Irish language versions.

The Metaphor solution also helped Saorview to merge and enhance metadata, providing software-as-a-service so there was no operational burden of Saorview to launch the service. All of the operational support needed to maintain and run the service came from the in-house Metaphor team.

Metaphor and Saorview also worked with Eagle Kingdom Technologies to launch a set-top box option.

The result

In 2016 Saorview re-launched its brand with a richer website and mobile application, based on Metaphor technology and powered by metadata from the Metaphor platform.

Both launched with the Spotlight editorial recommendations service, and since then, the Saorview Connect set-top box has also launched.

The solution has made Soarview Connect the service for expectant viewers in Ireland.


“We really enjoyed working with Freesat. The design team, the technology team and the project manager were really energetic about the whole project. I have to say it was an absolute pleasure working with them and we believe that we’ve actually created a really good, strong product here in Ireland and we couldn’t have done it without them.”