UTV got the official go ahead for a new television channel in Ireland today as the company signed its Content Contract with the BAI.
Whilst the headlines of this means a new television channel to rival TV3, it’s good news for UTV’s radio stations.
UTV has already confirmed that staff from radio stations will be involved in providing content for the television channel. Speaking to Newstalk in November, Managing Director of TV at UTV Michael Wilson said: “The radio stations and TV side of things have not yet sat down and talked about infrastructure and how things will fit together, but why on earth wouldn’t you use that great network of information, contacts and resource to boost the newsgathering of the new organisation.
“Certainly when we sit down with the radio guys that’s what we’ll be aiming to do.”
The new channel will be based in Dublin with additional news-gathering and reporting presence in Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick.
The contract was signed by Bob Collins, Chairperson and Michael O’Keeffe, Chief Executive, on behalf of the BAI and by John McCann, Group Chief Executive, UTV Media Plc and Michael Wilson on behalf of UTV Ireland Limited, at the Authority’s offices in Dublin.
It is envisaged that the new service will commence broadcasting in January 2015.
Speaking about the contract signing, BAI Chairperson, Bob Collins said, “Today’s contract signing with UTV Ireland Limited is to be welcomed, particularly for the additional choice and increased diversity of content that it will offer to Irish viewers. The company is well known to the BAI as a contractor for several radio services operating in the State. The Authority wishes the company every success with its television venture in this jurisdiction”.