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ITV set to complete UTV acquisition following approval

Ulster TV UTVUK broadcaster ITV’s acquisition of Northern Irish commercial broadcaster UTV is expected to complete at the end of this month following Irish government approval of the deal.

ITV struck an agreement to acquire UTV Television from UTV Media Group. For £98 million last year. The latest regulatory approval for the deal, from Ireland’s ministry of communication, energy and natural resources, enables completion to happen ahead of the originally envisaged date at the end of March, and follows approval by the Broadcasting Authority of Northern Ireland and the Irish competition watchdog.

In addition to its Northern Irish operation, UTV operates the loss-making UTV Ireland, a recently launched channel aimed at audiences in the Republic of Ireland.

The acquisition will give ITV control of 13 of 15 UK regional licences for the Channel 3 network.

UTV Media Group will retain its Irish radio assets post-completion of the sale of the TV assets.