BBC Northern Ireland (Irish: BBC Thuaisceart Éireann; Ulster-Scots: BBC Norlin Airlan) is a division of the BBC and the main public broadcaster in Northern Ireland. It is widely available across both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
BBC Northern Ireland is one of the four BBC national regions, together with the BBC English Regions, BBC Scotland and BBC Cymru Wales. Based at Broadcasting House, Belfast, it provides television, radio, online and interactive television content. BBC Northern Ireland currently employs 700 people, largely in Belfast.
BBC Northern Ireland has two TV channels - BBC One Northern Ireland, BBC Two Northern Ireland; and two radio stations - BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio Foyle.
BBC Northern Ireland operates two television stations: BBC One Northern Ireland and BBC Two Northern Ireland. BBC Northern Ireland funds an opt-out service with the majority of this output made in the independent sector. Some output that originates in London (so-called 'network' programmes) are time-shifted to create appropriate slots for programming that is more appealing to the BBC audience in NI.
Prior to 27 October 2006, BBC Two NI was a digital only service while BBC Two Northern Ireland was available on analogue transmission. Since 28 October 2006, BBC Two Northern Ireland has been the on-air name for both services which have been merged.
BBC Northern Ireland has its own team of continuity announcers which introduce the vast majority of programmes on BBC One and BBC Two in Northern Ireland.
As well as programmes intended purely for an audience in NI, BBC Northern Ireland also funds or often co-funds output for pan-UK consumption on both the player and other BBC channels. in 2021 network output is principally in drama.
It was announced in June 2019 that the BBC quiz show Mastermind would now be produced from BBC NI.
BBC Northern Ireland is also involved more occasionally in co-productions with other broadcasting networks, most notably with the Irish broadcaster RTÉ.
BBC Northern Ireland operates two radio stations:
BBC Northern Ireland takes part in the 'Regionalisation' of some of the BBC's national radio output. From the late 1990s until 2012, for example, Radio 1 split the home nations on Thursday morning from midnight to 2 a.m., with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland broadcasting their own shows to showcase regional talent. The Radio 1 session from Northern Ireland was last presented by Phil Taggart from Omagh.
BBC Northern Ireland's online service provides News, Sport, Schools, Learning and Programme information for television and radio programmes. It provides a streaming audio service for Radio Ulster and Radio Foyle as well as every programme on demand for up to a week after transmission. bbc.co.uk/northernireland/ is part of BBC Online and operated from the Belfast base. It also provides multi platform interactivity for TV programmes including the annual Schools' Cup Rugby union and Gaelic Athletic Association finals.
BBC NI has, at various times, over the last decades of the 20th century and the early decades of the 21st, provided live and pre-recorded coverage of all three major male sports in NI - Irish League soccer, Ulster Rugby and GAA. In the increasingly expensive world of sports rights and contracts the regional output has never covered all three concurrently but covers the sports extensively in radio news bulletins.
BBC Northern Ireland broadcasts almost exclusively in English, but there is some output in Irish and Ulster Scots. Radio Ulster carries a daily programme in Irish and there is an Irish language section on BBC Northern Ireland's website. Northern Ireland Screen helps co-fund television output in both Irish and Ulster Scots.
The BBC television and radio stations are broadcast primarily from the Divis (500 kW), Limavady and Brougher Mountain transmitters. Both transmitters receive the BBC stations via a satellite feeds and each transmitter has a wealth of relay transmitters to provide analogue service to areas not served by their respective main transmitter.
BBC Northern Ireland has three main television studios located in Belfast. There are two small studios located in the BBC Broadcasting House in Belfast. These are home to BBC Northern Ireland's regional news and current affairs programmes. They are around 2,000 sq ft (190 m2) each and are called Studio B and Studio 1.
The largest of the studios is called Studio A which is located in the BBC Blackstaff House on Great Victoria Street in Belfast. The studio measures 6,000 sq ft (560 m2). Studio A has been home to the award-winning local sitcom Give My Head Peace. Nolan Live for BBC One NI airs live from Studio A.
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