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Virgin Media-UTV Ireland deal gets approval

Virgin Media has received regulatory and competition approval to acquire Irish free-to-air commercial broadcaster, UTV Ireland.

Liberty Global-owned Virgin Media agreed to buy Republic of Ireland broadcaster UTV Ireland for €10 million in July.

Virgin will buy the free-to-air commercial channel from its current owner, UK terrestrial broadcaster ITV, and the deal also includes a 10-year Irish output deal for ITV-produced programming.

“The purchase of UTV Ireland is good news for viewers and will support TV3 to further compete against significant local and international competition,” said Pat Kiely, managing director of TV3.

Tony Hanway, CEO of Virgin Media in Ireland, said: “We’re delighted to have received regulatory approval to acquire UTV Ireland. This follows our acquisition of TV3 last year and we look forward to playing an even bigger role in the Irish broadcasting sector.”