Northern Ireland’s UTV is to launch a new channel in the republic of Irealand. UTV, which holds the Channel 3 licence in the province and is an affiliate to the ITV plc run Channel 3 service in England and Wales has announced the creation of UTV Ireland – a new dedicated channel for viewers in the Irish Republic. ITV shows such as Coronation Street and Emmerdale look set to move from Irish commercial channel TV3 to UTV Ireland in 2015, when the new service is expected to go launch. UTV Ireland will be based in Dublin with additional newsgathering and reporting presence in Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick.

An application for a service licence has been submitted to broadcasting regulators on Wednesday, November 6 2013.

In a press release, 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. “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.” Michael Wilson, Managing Director, UTV Television said: “We intend to introduce UTV Ireland in early 2015 utilising the existing UTV winning formula of combining high quality news, current affairs, entertainment and drama. “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.”

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By Expat