Northern Ireland

UTV plans Republic of Ireland TV channel

UTV building
Image caption UTV is planning a dedicated channel for the Republic of Ireland

Belfast-based UTV Media plc has announced plans to launch a new TV channel in the Republic of Ireland.

UTV Ireland Limited is to submit an application to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) for a contract later on Wednesday.

The new channel would be based in Dublin with additional newsgathering and reporting presence in Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick.

UTV has said that it will create more than 100 jobs.

In recent years, UTV have cut jobs from their news operation in Belfast, a cost-saving process that is continuing.

It plans to put the new channel on air in early 2015.

The announcement follows the signing of an agreement with ITV, which would give UTV broadcasting rights in the Republic for programmes like Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

John McCann, group chief executive of UTV Media plc, said: "UTV Media already has a very strong presence in the Republic of Ireland employing more than 300 people in our various businesses including our market-leading Irish radio stations.

"We look forward to building on that success with the launch of a new Irish TV channel."

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