UTV is to launch a new television channel in the Republic, it announced today.
The station will be based in Dublin and will create more than 100 jobs.
Parent company UTV Media has submitted an application to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) to run the new channel.
Bosses say it will be on air by early 2015, with additional newsgathering and reporting presence in Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick.
John McCann, group chief executive of UTV Media, said the move was a strong vote of confidence in Irish broadcasting and the Irish economy.
“The audience in Ireland has known the UTV brand for more than 50 years through our station for Northern Ireland and we’re delighted to announce our plans for a new dedicated channel for viewers in the Republic of Ireland,” he said.
“UTV Media already has a very strong presence in the Republic of Ireland employing more than 300 people in our various businesses including our market-leading Irish radio stations.
“We look forward to building on that success with the launch of a new Irish TV channel.”
UTV Ireland will broadcast news, current affairs, entertainment and drama.
In what could be a huge blow to rival channels in the Republic, UTV said it has signed an agreement for exclusive rights to ITV shows including hit soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale.
Stations chiefs claim the new channel will break even in its first year on air and be profitable by 2016.
Michael Wilson, managing director of UTV Television, said: “We plan to make this new channel available on as many platforms as possible, subject to contract approval, with a catch-up service also available online.”