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ITV to acquire UTV

ITV is set to complete a £100 million deal for Northern Irish broadcaster UTV Television

ITV is set to complete a £100 million deal for Northern Irish broadcaster UTV Television.

The deal, which was initially announced in October, is expected to be completed on 29 February.

It required multiple approvals before being officially agreed, with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland giving the green light in December, followed by the Consumer Protection Commission earlier this year.

“We have a long-standing relationship with UTV, which has been the leading commercial broadcaster in Northern Ireland for many years thanks to its strong regional identity and blend of excellent local programming and strong network shows,” said ITV chief executive Adam Crozier.

“UTV Television’s strategic objectives are closely aligned with our own and we are very pleased that they are joining the ITV family.

“We are looking forward to working with the team going forward.”

The acquisition will give ITV control of 13 of 15 UK regional licences for the Channel 3 network.

“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,” said John McCann (pictured), group chief executive of UTV Media.

“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.”

The channel, which made an £11.5 million loss in its first year, was launched in January last year.