The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has announced that it is to work with UTV Ireland in releasing the latest TV channel into the Irish market in January 2015.
News of UTV’s intentions of expanding across the whole of the island was announced in November last year with the opening of its new offices in Dublin which will create 100 media jobs when the TV station begins operations.
According to the BAI, the channel’s remit will include general entertainment, as well as offering national news and current affairs programming and acquired documentary, drama and film content.
The channel will, in the beginning, be broadcasting a considerable amount of content from its sister channel in the UK, ITV, but its intentions are to begin rolling out a one-hour current affairs and community programme and further indigenous programming afterwards.
Michael Wilson, managing director of UTV Television, said in the company’s announcement: "As we enter these negotiations, we look forward to bringing Irish viewers a wonderful new viewing experience in January 2015, utilising the existing UTV winning formula of combining high quality news, current affairs, entertainment and drama."
The decision for UTV to enter into the Irish market has been questioned by established network TV3 as its entrance into the Irish market would increase the competition as the sole commercial broadcaster in the state.
As part of UTV Ireland’s agreement with ITV, the channel has obtained the rights to broadcast the popular soaps Emmerdale and Coronation Street from TV3.
Family watching TV image via Shutterstock