UTV To Launch New Channel In Ireland

UTV has revealed plans to launch a new television station for Ireland.

The move will create more than 100 jobs.

An application to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) for a service licence is to be submitted today. It hopes the new service will be running from 2015.

The announcement follows the signing of an agreement with ITV Studios Global Entertainment, 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.

There are also plans for a nightly one-hour news and current affairs programme.

John McCann, Group Chief Executive, UTV Media plc said: "The audience in Ireland has known the UTV brand for more than 50 years through our station for Northern Ireland and we're delighted to announce our plans for a new dedicated channel for viewers in the Republic of Ireland.

"UTV Media already has a very strong presence in the Republic of Ireland employing more than 300 people in our various businesses including our market leading Irish radio stations. We look forward to building on that success with the launch of a new Irish TV channel.

"After incurring start-up costs in 2014 we expect the new channel to breakeven in its first full year of operation and then move into profit from 2016.

"Today's announcement represents a strong vote of confidence in Irish broadcasting and our investment in the Irish economy."

Michael Wilson, Managing Director, UTV Television added: "We plan to make this new channel available on as many platforms as possible, subject to contract approval, with a catch up service also available online."

The new channel - UTV Ireland - is expected to go on air early in 2015 and will be based in Dublin. There will also be additional newsgathering and reporting presence in Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick.


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