Virgin Media Gobble Irish Commercial TV Broadcaster UTV Ireland - ISPreview UK
Virgin Media (Liberty Global), which caters to the cable broadband and TV markets in both the United Kingdom and Ireland, has this afternoon confirmed that they’ve splashed out £8.51m million (€10m) with ITV plc to acquire UTV Ireland (Ireland’s newest free-to-air commercial broadcaster).

Apparently the agreement also includes a “comprehensive” 10 year output deal in Ireland for ITV produced programming and the purchase price is expected to be funded through “existing liquidity“. The proposed transaction follows the successful acquisition of TV3 Group last year.

David Bouchier, Chief Digital Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media, said:

“The acquisition of UTV Ireland gives us leadership in commercial broadcasting in Ireland and extends our platform to showcase the best Irish, UK and international programming. It also gives us exciting opportunities to buy and make exclusive programmes for our Virgin Media customers in both the Republic of Ireland and the UK. Our vision for television is about bringing people closer to the programmes they love how, where and when they want to view it – be that linear, on-demand or online.”
Tony Hanway, CEO of Virgin Media Ireland, said:

“We are delighted to welcome UTV Ireland to the Virgin Media family. This investment demonstrates our commitment to provide great entertainment for Irish viewers and adds Ireland’s newest TV channel to our existing portfolio which includes TV3 and 3e. This is a very positive development for Irish broadcasting and ensures Virgin Media’s continued investment in top quality programming and local production.”
As usual the acquisition is still subject to all the usual regulatory approvals, but Virgin Media hopes to have it all “cleared in the coming months“.