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UTV is selling its entire TV operation to ITV for £100 million

UTV will keep control of its UK and Ireland radio stations.

Image: RollingNews.ie

Updated at 1pm

UTV MEDIA IS selling its entire television operation to ITV in a deal worth £100 million (€136 million), but will keep control of its UK and Ireland radio stations.

The deal will include its long-running Northern Ireland-based service and the Dublin-based UTV Ireland, which launched in January of this year but has been struggling to find an audience.

The original iteration of UTV went on air in 1959 and is the most watched channel in Northern Ireland.

The Republic of Ireland version of the station was launched in Dublin at the start of the year. In June, UTV Media estimated that losses at the station for 2015 are expected to reach £11.5 million (€16.3 million).

Radio output

As well as its interests in television, UTV Media owns over 20 radio stations across Ireland and Britain including FM104 in Dublin and talkSPORT across the UK.

The company confirmed back in August that it was in talks to sell off its television assets after speculation that ITV were planning a buyout.

“Having successfully extended the reach of our television business with the launch of UTV Ireland, I believe that shareholder value can be maximised through our television interests becoming part of ITV’s global broadcast and content business,” Chairman of UTV Richard Huntingford said.

“I believe that the price reflects the inherent value within the UTV Television business.

“ITV will be a good owner of the business and, with its scale and reach, will be able to accelerate the future growth of the business.”
“We have a long-standing relationship with UTV, which has been the leading commercial broadcaster in Northern Ireland for many years thanks to its strong regional identity and blend of excellent local programming and strong network shows,” ITV Chief Executive Adam Crozier said in a statement.
“UTV Television’s strategic objectives are closely aligned with our own and we are very pleased that they are joining the ITV family.
“We are looking forward to working with the team going forward.”

Read: UTV Ireland has dragged its owner’s whole TV business into the red

Read: Pat Kenny’s show on UTV Ireland has been given the axe

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