UTV in talks to sell TV business

UTV in talks to sell TV business

NORTH of Ireland broadcaster UTV has confirmed that it is in talks to sell its television division and become a radio-only business.

It is believed that a multi-million pound deal with British broadcaster ITV will be agreed next week.

The move will signal the first time the TV channel has transferred out of local control since it was set up in 1958, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

UTV broadcasts many of the North of Ireland’s most popular shows, with TV personalities Eamonn Holmes and Gloria Hunniford making their names on the channel.

UTV has operated a television station in the North of Ireland since 1959 and has radio businesses in Britain and the Republic of Ireland, including talkSPORT.

The company expanded into television in the Republic in January but it had little success in finding an audience.

UTV Ireland is expected to lose almost £12million this year.

If UTV sells its television division, it is unlikely that there will be significant on-air changes locally.

But it could raise concerns about the future of UTV Ireland.