UTV to be sold to ITV for £100m

utv-whiterockbeachUTV Media has agreed to sell its television stations and brand to ITV for £100m.
The media company has operated in Northern Ireland since 1959 when it became the first commercial television channel in Ireland.
It launched a station in the Republic of Ireland in January this year.
However, the new Dublin station struggled to find an audience and is expected to lose almost £12m this year.
In August UTV Media confirmed it was in talks regarding the potential sale of its television assets to ITV.

The deal, which was confirmed on Monday, excludes UTV Media’s radio businesses UTV Radio GB and UTV Radio Ireland, and its digital media businesses, Simply Zest and Tibus Digital.
The radio stations are responsible for about 60% of UTV Media’s revenue.
That part of the business which is not being sold will be renamed at a later date.
ITV said it has no plans to change the on-air branding, meaning the UTV name will remain rather than becoming ITV Northern Ireland.

Richard Huntingford, chairman of UTV said ITV would be a “good owner” of the business and UTV intend to continue to “pursue a successful strategy” in the radio business.
He said ITV’s “scale and reach” would help accelerate future growth of the company and that shareholder value would increase through the television assets becoming part of ITV’s global broadcast and content business.
He also thanked UTV television staff for their “outstanding service” over the years and wished them every success in the future.
UTV broadcasts many of Northern Ireland’s most watched programmes.

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