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BAI to enter into TV Content Contract with 'UTV Ireland'
06 Feb 2014 : Aisling Newton
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has announced that it will enter into negotiations for a television content provision contract with UTV Ireland Limited.

The company submitted its application to the BAI in November following the signing of an agreement with ITV Studios Global Entertainment, which will give UTV the exclusive broadcasting rights for ITV programmes for the Irish audience.

The contract to be negotiated between the BAI and UTV Ireland Limited is provided for under Section 71 of the Broadcasting Act 2009. Services licensed under this section are not subject to a broadcasting levy, while the free-to-air services are all subject to the payment of a levy to the BAI.

There are a number of elements to a contract granted under this section of the Act which differ from the regulatory regime applied to the public service broadcasters, RTÉ and TG4, and the commercial broadcaster, TV3 and its sister station, 3e, specifically in the areas of carriage, content, and levy.

Contracts granted are for content only and do not carry an automatic right to carriage on a platform. However, the contract does enable the contractor to negotiate carriage of the service and its prominence on the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG), with the platform provider.

From a programming perspective, the programme service obligations extend only to compliance with statutory Codes and Rules and with the European Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive requirements relating to European and Independent Production works.

UTV Ireland will be a general entertainment channel, offering national news and current affairs programming and acquired documentary, drama and film content. It is intended that a one-hour peak time news, current affairs and community programme will be delivered each evening initially and that as the channel grows, UTV Ireland will develop further indigenous Irish content.

It is envisaged that the new service, ‘UTV Ireland’, will commence broadcasting in January 2015 from its base in Dublin as well as additional reporting from Galway, Cork, Limerick and Waterford.

Further details are due to be announced at the conclusion of the negotiation process.


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