UTV Media has announced that its subsidiary UTV Ireland Limited (UTV) is to launch a new Irish TV channel which will create more than 100 new jobs.
An application to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) for a Content Provision Contract was submitted today (6 November).
This 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.
The new channel will be based in Dublin with additional newsgathering and reporting presence in Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick. UTV plans to have this new channel on air in early 2015.
“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,” says John McCann, Group Chief Executive, UTV Media. “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.”
McCann adds: “Today’s announcement represents a strong vote of confidence in Irish broadcasting and our investment in the Irish economy.”