27 November 2021 The Irish Film & Television Network
TV3 Seeks Clarity on UTV’s planned Irish launch
13 Jan 2014 : Deirdre Molumby
TV3 has raised “grave concerns” with the BAI about UTV’s programming deal.

TV3 has stated that it is “keen to protect its status as Ireland’s sole commercial public service broadcaster” and is requesting information about the license terms the BAI (Broadcast Authority of Ireland) may grant UTV Ireland.

The programming deal between the Belfast-based UTV and its UK correlative, ITV, was announced last November. The launch of the new channel would have its station based in Dublin with newsgathering functions in Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick. It was assured that 100 jobs would be generated as a result.

At the time, Michael Wilson, Managing Director of UTV Television, announced the plan of introducing UTV Ireland in early 2015. He stated, “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.”

According to The Sunday Times, TV3 is reportedly “seeking clarity from the BAI on what it claims is a loophole in the legislation that may allow UTV to be licensed [in the Republic of Ireland] while escaping the obligations placed on TV3 and RTE.”

The Irish broadcaster argues that the planned UTV Ireland channel should be viewed as an ‘opt-out channel’, alike to E4 and Channel 4, and should be administered by the British regulator.

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