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ntl Dublin Local Channel - LINK

Link is Dublin’s local television channel. It is mainly an in-vision text service (relaunched in December 1999 as Cableguide and again in July 2000 as NTL Information Service) which offers such items as What’s On, Community Updates, Children’s Corner, and adverts for programmes on the Premium Service. Local programmes go out each night from 7:30-8pm and 10:30pm-12 midnight - the same local programmes go out each night for a week. Every night a selection of foreign news programmes from around Europe is shown. Link is available on cable at 248 Mhz, shared with Nickelodeon UK.

Link History

Link has its origins in the Dublin Community Channel, which was the first non-RTE television originating in the Republic of Ireland. This series of 8 programmes was broadcast by long-lost cable company Phoenix Relays in 1976. In 1986 RTE Relays/Cablelink produced another series of 26 local programmes. Link began as a text information service circa .1990. Regular local programmes began on 6th May 1995 with Dublin Weekend, renamed Cityscene in 1998. Cityscene ended at the end of 1999. From January to May 2000 a documentary series NTL Millenium Series was run, marking the first appearence of ntl: branding on the channel. This was followed by Frankly Speaking (now being repeated) until September 2000. City Arts ran from September to December. To date NTL has not produced any more new in-house local programming, but Sirus Broadcast Services, who produced some of the local programmes (and also run Chorus Navan's local channel), now seem to have taken over the management of the channel and have commissioned some more local programmes, including Sports View and some promotional videos. .

Link News
Link is covering the British and Irish Lions rugby union team tour of Australia with special programmes each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night at 10:30, produced by NTL UK subsidary Premium TV Limited.

Link was off air for three weeks from 11/5/01-31/5/01. Additional Nickelodeon UK ("SNICK") programmes were broadcast. The service has now been restored however.

Contacting Link
NTL Information Service: NTL Communications (Ireland) Ltd, 10 Pembroke Place, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.
Tel 660 4449
Everything else: Sirus Broadcast Services Ltd, Clogherboy Hse, Navan, Co. Meath. Tel: 046 22665

Link Schedule
Details of this weeks local programming can be found on the Link website.
MONDAY-FRIDAY
6:00am As Nickelodeon UK.
7:00pm WELCOME TO LINK
7:01 NTL INFORMATION SERVICE
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In-vision text information service.
7:30 SPORTS VIEW
8:30 HEUTE
Main German News from
Zwite Deutche Fernsehen (via the satellite pan-German service 3Sat)
9:00 TG1
Main Italian News from RAI1
9:30 NTL INFORMATION SERVICE
9:45 TELEDIARIO
Main Spanish news from
TVE International
10:15 NTL INFORMATION SERVICE
10:30 LIONS TV

Behind the scenes of Great Britain and Ireland's rugby tour of Australia.
11:00 FRANKLY SPEAKING
Repeat
11:30 LIONS TV
Repeat
12:00 LOCAL PROGRAMMES.
12:30 NTL INFORMATION SERVICE (-6:00am)

SATURDAY-SUNDAY
6:00am As Nickelodeon UK.
7:00pm NTL MILLENIUM SERIES (Repeat)
Repeat of the series screened in early 2000, of documentaries on various things Dublin.
7:30 NTL INFORMATION SERVICE
8:30 HEUTE
9:00 TG1
9:30 TELEDIARIO
10:00 NTL INFORMATION SERVICE
10:30 LIONS TV
(Sat: Repeat of Fri. Sun: Omnibus edition)
11:00 NTL MILLENIUM SERIES (Repeat)
11:30 LIONS TV
Repeat
12:00 NTL INFORMATION SERVICE (-6:00am)

Link Gallary


Link Today
The NTL Information Service got a new look in June 2000. The channel itself got its own low-budget idents, menus, clocks, and Coming Next slides in February 2001 when Sirus took over the running of the channel. NTL still supply some programmes and the NTL Information Service noticeboard. The latter, usually accompanied by RTE RADIO 1 (RADIO 2FM, FM104, and Classic FM have also been occasionally used), is the "sustaining service" in between Link's programmes.


Link's new animated "ident" (of sorts), introduced February 2001. This ident is aired every time the NTL Information Service returns to the start of its cycle.

This screen appears at 7pm each day, detailing the programmes on Link each night. The backround is animated (computer-gerated), and the Link music is played. It is followed by (in this order) a Link ident, a trailer for Frankly Speaking, the European News menu slide below, and then the NTL Information Service introduction slide.

This (badly-done!) countdown is used to link into Heute - it is followed by ZDF's own clock. Someone at NTL's impression of the BBC ONE globe? A more interesting version with "postcards" of Italy is used to link into RAI1's TG1. Why no German postcards?

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A programme menu from Link trailing that night's showings of ZDF Heute / RAI1 TG-1 / TVE Telediario.

NTL Link ident. This variant was introduced in Dec 99 for the NTL Millenium Series. Without the "Millenium Series" caption, it is still used for any of the NTL-made programmes being repeated..



An example of a NTL Information Service slide. This was the first new look slide seen on Link, introducing NTL. Slides are accompanied by an feed of RTE RADIO 2FM (or sometimes RTE RADIO 1).

Link was off air for three weeks from Thursday 1th May until Thursday 31st May. This message was displayed from 7-8pm on the first few days followed by Nickelodeon UK programmes. These programmes replaced Link full-time until the service was restored
 

Link In The Past


Old Link ident, used 1997-2000
Jingle is the same as the NTL ident above. This ident was usually seen without the "Serving the Community" tagline.

Cableguide - the information service during the last months of Cablelink. Completely computer-generated (probably PowerPoint) - as opposed to the previous service (simply branded Link) which used standard printed backrounds onto which text was overlayed.

When things didn't go so right for Cablelink...
TG1 + RAI1 logos (C) RAI. RAI have since changed their logo (to make it look less futuristic?), they now prefer to be called Rai .

Sometimes dual-branded adverts such as this one are run on Link. And Sky One...

We leave you with the Cablelink test card, now retired in favour of a varient of the Ian Jeffers slide above.
Cablelink Ltd, 1985-2000.

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