UTV Ireland loses 'Coronation Street' and 'Emmerdale' to TV3

UTV is becoming part of the TV3 Group under a takeover deal

UTV Ireland loses 'Coronation Street' and 'Emmerdale' to TV3

Image Facebook/Coronation Street

TV3 Ireland has confirmed it is poaching two soaps back from rival UTV Ireland.

From December 1st, both 'Coronation Street' and 'Emmerdale' will move back to TV3.

However the shows will be simultaneously broadcast on both TV3 and UTV until December 5th.

The broadcaster says this is to acclimatise audiences to the changeover.

The move follows Virgin Media's takeover of UTV Ireland - Virgin is also the owner of TV3.

After the deal is closed, the TV3 Group will operate as a three channel business.

The broadcaster says "further programming details will be announced then."

A spokesperson for TV3 says they cannot say what programmes will replace 'Coronation Street' and 'Emmerdale' on UTV Ireland, as the deal is not yet complete.

As part of the change on TV3, the Seven O'Clock Show will become the Six O'Clock Show.

While showbiz show Xposé will also move to a later primetime slot of 8.00pm.

Bill Malone, TV3 Group director of programming, said: "Putting the viewer first is at the centre of what we do.

"We will shortly hold the rights to some of the most popular shows available internationally.

"We will schedule this content to maximise viewership and to cross-promote the quality Irish programming that we are developing in TV3."