UTV and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) are to begin the procedures which will see the ITV Northern Ireland broadcaster expand into Ireland with a spin-off UTV station.
The BAI has announced they are to enter into negotiations with UTV Media’s spin-off company UTV Ireland Ltd for a television content provision contract, under section 71 of the Irish Broadcasting Act.
UTV submitted its application to the BAI in November 2013 following the signing of an agreement with ITVplc which will give UTV the exclusive broadcasting rights for ITV Studios programmes for the Republic of Ireland audience, including popular soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale from early 2015, once appropriate statutory broadcasting licences are in place.
We are delighted by the BAI’s announcement today to enter into negotiations on the terms of our television contract for UTV Ireland.
The audience in Ireland has known the UTV brand for more than 50 years through our station for Northern Ireland and our market leading Irish radio stations. We look forward to building on that success with the launch of UTV Ireland in January 2015. – John McCann, Group Chief Executive, UTV Media plc
The new channel will be based in Dublin with additional newsgathering and reporting presence in Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick. UTV Ireland plans to commence broadcasting in the Republic of Ireland in January 2015.
As we enter these negotiations, we look forward to bringing Irish viewers a wonderful new viewing experience in January 2015, utilising the existing UTV winning formula of combining high quality news, current affairs, entertainment and drama. – Michael Wilson, Managing Director, UTV Television
UTV in Northern Ireland has been the ITV service for the region since 1959, it is one of only two ITV network companies, along with STV, to remain committed to full regional services outside of the ITVplc company which operate all the regional stations of ITV as a networked operation for England and Wales.