ITV confirms purchase of Northern Irish broadcaster

Mon, 19 Oct 2015 | BUSINESS SALE

ITV has agreed a deal to purchase the most-watched television channel in Northern Ireland, UTV Media.

The move is designed to help ITV expand its “free to air business” and is also expected to result in efficiency savings for the brand.

The business sale has been agreed for £100 million and will see ITV take on the television side of UTV's business, leaving the portfolio of radio stations behind. This radio aspect of UTV accounts for some 60 per cent of UTV Media's revenue and is set to be kept by its current owners and renamed at a later date.

Adam Crozier, chief executive of ITV, said that there is a “long-standing relationship” between the two companies, while UTV Media chief executive John McCann added that the sale will be “the best way to take [the] business forward”.

Mr Crozier added: “UTV Television's strategic objectives are closely aligned with our own and we are very pleased that they are joining the ITV family.”

Discussions regarding the sale of UTV have been ongoing since August after the broadcaster faced financial struggles in recent months. The sale to ITV should solve these, but will not be finalised until the UK and Irish broadcasting regulators and Ireland's competition watchdog have issued their approval.


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