6th November 2013, Wednesday
By David O’Sullivan
The Republic of Ireland is to get a new terrestrial TV channel, it will be called “UTV”. It won’t be an opt-out service of the existing UTV Northern Ireland station, rather it will stand on it’s own two feet.
100 new jobs will be created, 70 in Dublin and 30 elsewhere in Ireland including Cork.
An application to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) for a Content Provision Contract will be submitted today.
This announcement follows the signing of an agreement with ITV, 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. It’s not yet clear how the TV newsgathering operation will interface with the existing successful operations of UTV owned Radio Stations such as Cork’s 96FM and C103 Cork.
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.
One of the pillars of new UTV channel will be a “one hour news, current affairs and community programme”. Today TheCork.ie has speaking to media commentators asking their opinions.
Dr Finola Doyle-O’Neill lecturers in media at UCC and agrees there is an appetite for more TV News