EAMON QUINN: Jobs cut as TV3 completes acquisition of rival UTV

Twenty-one jobs will be lost as TV3 completes the acquisition of fledgling broadcaster UTV Ireland and moves all production to its existing Ballymount base in south-west Dublin.

UTV Ireland set up in the Dublin docklands in 2014, marking a bold foray into the Republic’s television market by its Belfast parent. However, despite its award-winning news output, the move came unstuck when the cost of launching escalated and the station failed to build local scheduling around its exclusive rights to Coronation Street.

TV3 said yesterday it had started consultations with staff but that of the 61 permanent staff at UTV Ireland “it has 40 open vacancies, many of which it is hoped will be filled by current UTV Ireland staff”. The broadcaster said it will continue to have three channels — TV3, 3e, as well as a rebranded UTV Ireland.

TV3 will likely start closing the UTV Ireland docklands facilities when it has completed the industrial relations process with staff, early in the new year. The news comes as TV3 completes the regulatory approvals for the acquisition. There has been a dramatic change in the ownership of the commercial television broadcasters across Ireland, involving both TV3 and UTV, in the last two years.

TV3 was itself bought by global communications giant Liberty Global, controlled by John Malone, the Irish-American billionaire owner of cable company Virgin Media, formerly called UPC. Liberty Global is listed on the stock market and is worth over €26bn. It unveiled the acquisition of UTV Ireland from its new owner ITV earlier this year.

ITV had acquired and held onto the Belfast-based television assets of UTV, while UTV’s former radio stations in the UK and Ireland were sold this summer to News Corp. TV3’s three channels mean it now has three soaps, Coronation Street, Emmerdale and its own Red Rock drama on its screens.

The completion of the UTV Ireland purchase will also strengthen competition for RTÉ, which under its new director general Dee Forbes, is seeking to cut costs at its Donnybrook base.

The UTV Ireland acquisition “strengthens independent television broadcasting in Ireland by bringing together great channels and great content under the one roof,” TV3 managing director Pat Kiely, said.

“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,” he said.


The Cosmetify Index reveals the cosmetics companies that are generating the most buzz online – and Dubai-based Huda Kattan has the top spot.Huda Beauty tops the 10 ‘most popular’ beauty brands this year

Read the script of Kya deLongchamps’ kitchen-sink drama to set the scene to make an informed choice when selecting this home essentialTake the plunge: Read this checklist before you splash out on your new kitchen sink

SOMETIMES, the journey is more important than the destination. And sometimes, we just want to sit at home eating a bag of jelly beans, while thinking about more jelly beans. Life is only as significant or special as we make it.GameTech: Death Stranding is a divisive, beautiful journey packaged in a cool world

Former Oasis drummer Tony McCarroll tells Richard Purden about the mad times when five Manc-Irish lads became one of the biggest rock bands in the worldNot looking back in anger: Former Oasis drummer looks back at the mad times of one of the biggest rock bands in the world

More From The Irish Examiner