RTÉ Network 2 was rebranded as RTÉ Two on Saturday October 02 2004. The changes introduced in October 2004 were the first part of a three-phase process, with new programmes, programme strands and acquired programmes being brought in to the renamed channel. Further commissioning rounds delivered more programming in the subsequent two phases, in January 2005 and autumn 2005.
RTÉ Two's rebirth was marked by a theme night - 'Podge And Rodge Unleashed On Two', beginning at 8pm. The bachelor brothers provided the links in-between the programmes and cast a sarcastic eye over RTÉ Network 2.
Launch night programmes included the television premiere of 'Stew' - a brand new sketch series commissioned for the channel and script-edited by Arthur Matthews of Father Ted fame. The network premiere of 'Spin The Bottle' was preceded by the last episode of the critically-acclaimed series, 'Paths To Freedom'. There was also a specially-commissioned documentary bidding 'Farewell To Network 2'.
Noel Curran, managing director of RTÉ Television said:
"RTÉ Two will be a multi-genre channel, delivering a comprehensive package of home-produced drama, entertainment and factual programming, sport and first-run acquired material.
"There will be a sustained, increased investment in new Irish programming on the channel over the coming years. It will also showcase the best international series available."
What of the new channel's presentation, then? Well, it launched with seven idents, a selection of commercial break stings and two promotional trail end board designs. The entire package is based around a green room. Programme holding captions were no longer used on the channel. The RTÉ Two idents and stings were produced by Piranhabar. The project was overseen by senior RTÉ graphic designer Derek Ryan.