TV3, Ireland’s leading commercial broadcaster and owned by Virgin Media Limited, today announced it has completed the acquisition of UTV Ireland. The company also confirmed it will have three free-to-air TV channels operating under the TV3 Group.
In addition, TV3 has announced a restructuring programme to consolidate the two businesses into one. UTV Ireland currently employs 61 permanent staff. TV3 today announced it has 40 open vacancies, many of which it is hoped will be filled by current UTV Ireland staff. The proposed changes may result in unavoidable redundancies in UTV Ireland but where possible, staff will be offered redeployment opportunities within TV3.
The company will enter into a 30 day consultation period with effect from December 5 and it is expected that the various steps associated with this plan will be substantially completed by January 2017.
As part of this consolidation, the UTV Ireland operation currently based in Macken House will move to TV3’s headquarters in Ballymount. The UTV Ireland channel will rebrand over the coming weeks and will join TV3’s existing group of channels, TV3 and 3e.
Pat Kiely, Managing Director of TV3, said: “Today’s announcement strengthens independent television broadcasting in Ireland by bringing together great channels and great content under the one roof. The combined TV3 Group business is now better equipped to compete against significant local and international broadcasters. We can now also play an increasingly bigger role in the development of Irish originated production and broadcasting. I am confident that our new three channel structure will drive the future potential and long term growth of the business.”