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UTV Ireland

UTV Ireland
Launched 1 January 2015 (2015-01-01)
Owned by UTV Media
Picture format 576i (16:9 SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audience share 6% (Jan 2015) ( (), )
Slogan "Part of U"
Country Ireland
Language English
Broadcast area Ireland
Headquarters Mayor Street Upper,
Dublin, Ireland
Sister channel(s) UTV
Website .ie.utvwww
Saorview Channel 6
Sky Ireland Channel 116 (SD/HD)
Channel 267 (SD)
Virgin Media Ireland Channel 110 (HD)
eVision Channel 108
Streaming media
UTV Ireland UTV Ireland Player
(Ireland only)

UTV Ireland is a general entertainment channel in Ireland. The channel is owned and operated by UTV Media's subsidiary UTV Ireland Ltd and launched at 7.25 pm on 1 January 2015 (2015-01-01).[1]


  • History 1
  • Programming 2
    • News and current affairs 2.1
    • Sport 2.2
    • Entertainment 2.3
    • Lifestyle 2.4
    • Drama 2.5
    • Documentary 2.6
    • Imported programming 2.7
  • UTV in Republic of Ireland 3
  • Availability 4
  • Criticism 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


On 6 November 2013 (2013-11-06) UTV Media announced its subsidiary UTV Ireland Ltd would launch a new television channel targeting audiences within the Republic of Ireland and submitted to obtain a licence for a 'Content Provision Contract' to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. Announcement on the BAI's decision will be revealed in due course. The channel's studios and headquarters are based at Macken House in Dublin with local offices in Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford. UTV Media's headquarters in Belfast, Northern Ireland are also utilised as transmission facilities for the channel.

The channel employs around 100 people, with 30 of these jobs being based around the country.[2]

UTV now holds Republic of Ireland broadcasting rights to key programming from ITV Studios Global Entertainment, including Emmerdale, Coronation Street and The Jeremy Kyle Show. TV3 previously held the rights until December 2014.[3]

The announcement of the channel was welcomed by the Minister for Communications, Pat Rabbitte TD[4] and TV3's CEO David McRedmond welcomed the channels launch saying it is good news for the independent sector and all money that was spent on ITV programming by TV3 can be reinvested elsewhere.[5] In January 2014 The Sunday Times reported that TV3 had launched a lobbying campaign against the establishment of UTV Ireland.[6]

On 27 February 2014 (2014-02-27) the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland signed a contract with UTV for the company to provide a general entertainment channel.[7][8] On 29 April 2014 (2014-04-29) Mary Curtis became UTV Ireland's first chief.[8]

On 1 December 2014 UTV Ireland was granted Public Service Status by Minister for Communications, Alex White, TD, allowing it to appear on Saorview.[9]

UTV Ireland went on air at 7.25pm on 1 January 2015. The opening night included an hour-long episode of Emmerdale and a New Year special presented by Pat Kenny.[10][11] Five days later, the channel launched its national news service, Ireland Live.[12]

UTV Ireland uses the UTV brand. The blue and yellow have been replaced by green and yellow. The letter "U" has been superscripted while the letters "TV" sit on top of the word "Ireland".

From September 2015, UTV Ireland is set to receive an major overhaul and rebranding due to declining viewership and advertising revenue.[13]


News and current affairs

Ireland Live is UTV Ireland's national news and current affairs service, airing two programmes at 5.30pm and 10pm on weeknights, with short updates on weekday mornings as part of a simulcast of Good Morning Britain.

The early evening 30-minute bulletin is presented by Alison Comyn with Chris Donoghue co-anchoring the hour long 10pm programme, which includes in-depth reports, interviews and analysis. The Friday night edition of the 10pm programme includes an extended sports segment, presented by Ger Gilroy. Currently, the station does not broadcast any weekend news programming, apart from morning weather forecasts.


Ireland Live on Friday Nights focus on sport and is presented by Ger Gilroy.

UTV Ireland airs the Cricket World Cup 2015 Highlights and secured rights to Boxing with the February 28, 2015 Carl Frampton vs Chris Avalos world title fight .


Pat Kenny, former host of The Late Late Show, presents a pre-record chat show called Pat Kenny in the Round. Coco Television were announced as the producers of the show in December 2014. The first 5 episodes air in Spring of 2015.[14] Kenny also hosted the station's launch night special, Out with the Old – In with the U, on New Year's Day 2015. in September 2015 utv ireland announced that they would not be going ahead with seson two of in the round. the station thanked coco television for there contribution and said that they hope to work with them again in the future.

In July 2015 UTV began airing a weekly Entertainment news bulletin with Jenny Buckley called The Pulse. The programme is sponsored by Diet Coke. She previously presented an Irish version of Access Hollywood on the now-defunct Channel 6. in September 2015 Jenny buckly announced that there are plans to increase the pulse to a half hour show. she also said that there was no competition between the pulse and tv3 rival xpose.


Two of UTV's feature local programmes in Northern Ireland have been adopted for viewers in the Republic. The long running travelogue series Lesser Spotted Ulster, presented by Joe Mahon, has been revamped as Lesser Spotted Journeys to focus on locations south of the border, as has the agricultural programme Rare Breed.

On 10 March, and in celebration of St Patrick's Day, UTV Ireland's weather presenter, Jenny Buckley launched the channel's "Bringing U Home" campaign, encouraging Irish people living overseas to submit greetings videos to friends and relatives, which would appear on screen on 17 March. Entrants would also have a chance to win return air tickets to Ireland from wherever they were currently living.[15] On 31 March, David McGovern, a fireman based in West Florida, was announced as the competition's winner.[16]


UTV Ireland are in negotiations with the BAI for funding from the Sound and Vision fund for a feature-length historical drama called Pilgrimage. The drama is multi-lingual with English and the independent producer is SP Films.[17]


The company is seeking BAI funding for a two-part documentary called The Wireless. The independentV are to enter into negotiations with producer Circle Films. It is an historical documentary about the development of radio.[17]

Imported programming

UTV's decision to enter the Republic's market followed the sale of broadcast rights from Coronation Street and Emmerdale from rivals TV3. UTV's Northern Ireland service had enjoyed a large following in the Republic up until the 2000s but its audience share had diminished following the arrival of Sky Digital, which does not carry UTV. The company had profited greatly from high audience ratings in the Republic due to spillover and cable connections in the 1980s and 1990s.

By and large, UTV Ireland replicates the Northern Ireland service, with some variations as rights to certain programmes are not available to UTV in the Republic and other programming rights are not available in Northern Ireland. For example, the BBC's The Graham Norton Show, produced by a division of ITV Studios, airs on UTV Ireland two days after UK transmission, while ITV's The X Factor, produced independently by a division of FremantleMedia, remains with TV3.

Other imports include daytime ITV programmes such as The Jeremy Kyle Show, Lorraine, This Morning and Loose Women. The Jeremy Kyle Show has previously aired on TV3, while Loose Women also aired on TV3 for a period during 2008. Good Morning Britain was added to the station's line up in February 2015 and includes short opt-outs for Ireland Live news updates. Other ITV shows include The Chase, Undeniable, Love Your Garden, The Cube and Doc Martin.

Some ITV programming continues to air on TV3 as they have maintained the rights to some output, until 2016, including The Jonathan Ross Show, Mr Selfridge and Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway. Since January 24, 2015, The Jonathan Ross Show airs on UTV Ireland.[18] UTV Ireland also utilises ITV's back catalogue of programming, including drama series such as Vera, Prime Suspect, Cracker, and All3Media's Midsomer Murders and Foyle's War.

The only imported programme broadcast from outside the UK and Ireland is the Canadian drama series Republic of Doyle.

UTV in Republic of Ireland

UTV is available to most of viewers in the Republic of Ireland; however, since the arrival of satellite service Sky, UTV's audience share has diminished. The channel was at one stage the Republic's second most watched after RTÉ One. UTV's audience share is now at just 3%.[19]

UTV management have said that the first platform they will speak to is Saorview. UTV has a large presence in the Irish Radio market. It owns 7 radio stations LMFM, FM104, Q102, C103, LIVE95FM, Cork's 96FM and Belfastut's U105.


The channel was made available on Saorview channel 6 from 19:25 on 1 January 2015. The channel is also available on Sky Ireland channel 116 (a preview channel had run on both Saorview and Sky Ireland during December 2014), Virgin Media Ireland channel 110 and eVision channel 108.[20]


The channel receives much criticism for its lack of Irish programming: while the news and current affairs programmes have received good reviews, their low audience level causes some problems for the channel.

Many Virgin Media Ireland customers continue to be disappointed by the channel as many of the programmes shown on UTV in Northern Ireland are not available on UTV Ireland, which replaced UTV on the cable service in 2015. UTV Ireland's doesn't have rights to Champions League where Irish viewers on the UPC platform had the choice between TV3's and ITV's coverage. TV3 continue to hold the rights to Broadchurch, which the air an hour after the ITV network. UTV Ireland's decision to run repeats of Foyle's War episodes rather than the new series along with UTV also cause complaints.

UTV's initial decision not to broadcast Good Morning Britain also caused some complaints; however, when GMB did arrive many other viewers complained that they were in Ireland not Britain. The show receives poor ratings on UTV Ireland.


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External links

  • Official website
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