Virgin Media receives approval to takeover UTV Ireland

Losses spiraled at the station in 2015...

Virgin Media receives approval to takeover UTV Ireland

UTV Ireland, Facebook

Virgin Media has announced that it has received regulatory and competition approval to acquire UTV Ireland.

The agreement also includes a comprehensive 10 year output deal in Ireland for ITV produced programming like Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

Virgin Media Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liberty Global plc - it also bought TV3 for €80m last year.

Tony Hanway, CEO of Virgin Media in Ireland, said: "We’re delighted to have received regulatory approval to acquire UTV Ireland. This follows our acquisition of TV3 last year and we look forward to playing an even bigger role in the Irish broadcasting sector."

Pat Kiely, MD of TV3, said: "The purchase of UTV Ireland is good news for viewers and will support TV3 to further compete against significant local and international competition."

The Irish Times reports that the station has been sold for €10m. Virgin Media states that the purchase price is expected to be funded through existing liquidity.

UTV Ireland is a free-to-air general entertainment channel that launched in Ireland on January 1, 2015.

The station has struggled to hit viewership and financial targets, recent account filings showed that losses at the station rose to €19.5m in 2015.