UTV signs new network deal

Published Monday, 05 March 2012
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New networking arrangements between UTV and ITV plc will see increased benefits for viewers in Northern Ireland - including UTV HD on Sky and freesat, as well as the current Virgin service, by the end of the year.

UTV signs new network deal
UTV's headquarters in Belfast, Havelock House. (© UTV)

UTV and ITV plc have signed a Network Affiliate Agreement for the provision of Channel 3 programmes and services, subject to regulatory approval.

The affiliate relationship will reflect ITV's role and responsibility as the principal driving force behind the Channel 3 schedule, in terms of funding, acquisition and scheduling of content.

UTV would then purchase the ITV programming and broadcast the full range of Network programming alongside all UTV's regional news, current affairs and regional programming.

Included in the Agreement is a deal which will ensure the distribution of UTV HD on Sky and freesat and, when the digital switchover takes place in October, also on Freeview.

We are especially pleased to plan the launch of UTV HD on both Sky and DTT by the end of this year, to complement the existing UTV HD service available to Virgin customers in Northern Ireland.

Michael Wilson, UTV managing director

A New Media Agreement has also been signed which grants UTV access to all ITV 1 programming for online use on the UTV Player in Northern Ireland.

A new Sales Agreement means ITV plc will continue to handle UTV's national advertising sales.

If the Network Affiliate Agreement is approved by Ofcom, the new arrangements would run until the end of the current UTV licence in 2014 and any future licences awarded to UTV until 2024.

UTV's chief executive John McCann said: "We are delighted to agree new terms with ITV plc for the future provision of programming, transmission and sales services to UTV as the Channel 3 licence holder in Northern Ireland.

"The proposed new agreements retain the strength offered by the original Channel 3 regional partnerships in the ITV Network, but provide the flexibility required for public service broadcasters to operate more effectively in today's market on all platforms.

"UTV is totally committed to providing Northern Ireland with quality public service programming in the future, as we have for more than 50 years."

Adam Crozier, chief executive of ITV plc, added: "We look forward to continuing our positive relationship with UTV under a new affiliate agreement.

"This agreement, which is still subject to regulatory approval, represents a major milestone for us as it consolidates and simplifies the ITV Network."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Liam in Limavady wrote (690 days ago):
Why can I not get ITV/UTV in HD on my Sky HD Box. Contacted Sky but they said it was up to ITV to do this
Trevor in Bangor wrote (997 days ago):
I have 3 freesat receivers around my house,including 2 recorders.All are tuned into a Manchester postcode which gives me all the channels I would receive here apart from UTV but I get ITV 1 in glorious full HD.Better programming and NO BIAS !!! BBC1 and 2 can be moved to 101 and 102 in the setup menu. I wont be retuning to UTV even if they do offer HD EVER
Sam in Belfast wrote (1,059 days ago):
Well said 'Frosty'. Again shows you how much more nationalist all mainstream Northern Irish media have become. It's like they're trying to brainwash the rest of us into believing we're Irish!
paul in belfast wrote (1,059 days ago):
what a rubbish channel utv is anyhows! rte in disguise, hense why only one side bother watching it
Frosty in Here wrote (1,059 days ago):
Given that UTV has dropped the UK and International news from their website but are increasing the number of stories from the RoI in the main headlines, I'd have thought RTE would have been a more suitable choice.
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