John McCann, Group Chief Executive, UTV Media
With the launch of UTV Ireland only a few weeks away, the new station has been given the prominent position of 116 on Sky electronic programme guide (EPG), 110 on the UPC platform and 108 on eircom’s eVision. The Saorview channel number, meanwhile, has yet to be decided.
This follows the designation this week of the station as “having the character of a public service” under Section 130 of the Broadcasting Act 2009 by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Mr Alex White.
According to John McCann, Group Chief Executive, UTV Media, “we welcome the announcement by Minster White, which reflects our commitment to providing Irish viewers with high quality public service programming. The decision represents a major milestone in UTV Ireland’s short history, as this designation was important for the purposes of ensuring appropriate prominence for UTV Ireland, on the various platforms, allowing us to offer Irish viewers an increased choice of high quality content. I am delighted that we have now reached agreements with all platform providers and UTV Ireland will be universally available across the country. UTV has had a strong broadcasting presence in Ireland for over 55 years. We now look forward to further strengthening our presence in Irish public life, through UTV Ireland, in the years ahead.”
Meanwhile, Magnus Ternsjo, CEO of UPC Ireland added, “I’m delighted to welcome the announcement and arrival of UTV Ireland to UPC from the New Year. UTV Ireland’s inclusion on our connected entertainment platform is part of our continued commitment to provide customers with the best, most innovative TV services and content. The way people enjoy TV is changing as customers with busy lives embrace technology to take control of their viewing. We are meeting this demand through our revolutionary new Horizon TV service and superfast broadband. This is now further enhanced with UTV Ireland as a dedicated new Irish channel which will go live on UPC in January.”
Michael Wilson, Managing Director, UTV Ireland adds: “Over the past 12 months, we have been working behind the scenes to create an indigenous Irish channel, with a strong news and current affairs offering – combined with home produced content and the best of ITV and other worldwide programming. UTV Ireland will launch in just over a month and, as we prepare for January 1st 2015, we are delighted to announce this important agreement with UPC. UTV has had an excellent relationship with UPC for many years and securing this channel position for UTV Ireland was a crucial step, as we begin this new chapter in our company’s legacy.”