Published Thursday, 06 February 2014
UTV''s headquarters in Belfast, Havelock House. (© UTV)
An application for the new channel, which will broadcast news and entertainment shows including popular soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale, was submitted to BAI in 2013.
UTV Ireland plans to commence broadcasting in the Republic of Ireland next January.
John McCann, Group Chief Executive, UTV Media plc said he is "delighted" by BAI's announcement to enter into negotiations on the terms of the UTV Ireland contract.
He said: "The audience in Ireland has known the UTV brand for more than 50 years through our station for Northern Ireland and our market leading Irish radio stations. We look forward to building on that success with the launch of UTV Ireland in January 2015."
Michael Wilson, Managing Director, UTV Television said: "As we enter these negotiations, we look forward to bringing Irish viewers a wonderful new viewing experience in January 2015, utilising the existing UTV winning formula of combining high quality news, current affairs, entertainment and drama."
The new channel will be based in Dublin with additional newsgathering and reporting presence in Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick.
The contract to be negotiated between the BAI and UTV Ireland Limited is provided for under section 71 of the Irish Broadcasting Act 2009.
A statement from BAI said: "The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland is today (Thursday, 6th February) pleased to announce that it will enter into negotiations for a television content provision contract, under Section 71 of the Broadcasting Act, with UTV Ireland Limited.
"The BAI will now enter into contract negotiations with UTV Ireland Limited and further details will be announced at the conclusion of the process."
© UTV News