ITV to take control of UTV

UK commercial broadcaster ITV has struck a deal to acquire 100 per cent of Irish commercial broadcaster UTV, which owns the television assets of UTV Media, for a total cash consideration of £100m (€136.7m/$154.8m).

Under the deal, which remains subject to regulatory and shareholder approval, ITV will take control of all UTV Media television channels in Ireland and Northern Ireland. This will include the new UTV Ireland channel launched in January.

Upon completion of the acquisition, ITV will own 13 of the 15 regional licences for the Channel 3 network.

John McCann, group chief executive of UTV Media, said: “The market leading success of our television business has been built over many years on the well-established formula of high quality local programming packaged around an attractive network schedule. Becoming part of the ITV family is by far the best way to take UTV’s television business forward with an ongoing focus to provide brilliant television to viewers right across Ireland.”

UTV’s recent sports coverage has included boxing title bouts featuring Belfast fighter Carl Frampton (pictured).