Ulster Television

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Ulster Television plc




Web: http://www.utvplc.com
Phone: +44 (0) 2890 328122
Fax: +44 (0) 2890 246695
Address: Havelock House, Belfast, BT7 1EB, Northern Ireland


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Ulster Television plc (UTV) is a media company based in Northern Ireland. It is the Channel 3 (ITV) licencee for Northern Ireland, and the owner of several radio stations in Ireland.

UTV is notable for being the last ITV company to use on-screen continuity announcers, a once-common practice that was discontinued by most other stations in the 1980s and 1990s. Julian Simmons is the company's lead continuity announcer.


UTV Television

UTV is the Channel 3 (ITV) licencee for Northern Ireland. It is one of the two remaining stand-alone ITV contractors left, the others forming groupings such as ITV (formerly Carlton Television and Granada Television) the Scottish Media Group, with Channel Television being the other remaining independent company. Political sensitivities led to the channel bringing the use of the abbreviation UTV to the fore, as the use of word 'Ulster ' is controversial among Northern Ireland's two communities. Since June 4, 1993, Ulster Television has been known on-air as simply UTV, and off air is now referred to as UTV Group. UTV's main programmes are the nightly news UTV Live, current affairs programme Insight, the talkshow Kelly, School Around the Corner, and Lesser Spotted Ulster.


All-Ireland viewing

UTV is also available in the Republic of Ireland, either on cable and MMDS systems, or directly in border areas. This puts UTV in the unique position of having as many viewers, if not more, outside its franchise area, and indeed, outside the United Kingdom. UTV was for many years the third most popular channel in the Republic, prior to the introduction of the TV3 Television Network. The company has its own sales office in Dublin, and is listed on the ISE in addition to the London Stock Exchange, where ITV plc and SMG plc are traded.

Due to the political situation in Northern Ireland, and the large number of viewers in the Republic of Ireland, UTV always operated a .ie and a .co.uk website prior to the availability of the ".tv" TLD. They were displayed at the same height from the base of the screen to avoid any accusations of favoritism.

However, while UTV has been available to the whole of the United Kingdom via Sky Television system since 2001, it is not yet available on satellite in the Republic, owing to rights issues, as many ITV programmes are also shown on the commercial channel TV3, which is partly owned by Granada. This is one of the few advantages over Sky Digital that cable/MMDS operators can boast of.


Non-TV activities

UTV is continuing the move from a simple ITV contractor towards a true media company. It ownsn a number of Republic of Ireland independent local radio contractors - Live 95FM in Limerick, Q102 in Dublin and 96FM County Sound in Cork, which incorporates a separate radio entity, 103fm - itself subdivided across County Cork. The UTV group also owns Cork city advertising-based freesheet newspaper Inside Cork.

The group also acquired permission to buy LMFM in the Republic of Ireland in 2005 and has been granted a license to run a Belfast-based radio station with the working name U105.

In May, 2005, UTV announced that it had agreed to purchase The Wireless Group plc, owners of the UK independent national radio station TalkSport as well as several UK ILR licences. This is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.

UTV is also a telecoms operator throughout Ireland (north and south). They own the internet service provider UTV Internet, through which they provide broadband and dial-up internet packages. In August 2004 the company moved into the telephone market offering free off-peak calls with a new service, UTV Talk.


External links

  • U.tv TV website
  • 96fm website
  • 95fm website
  • Q102fm website


  • ISEQ suffers 67-point slump - Ireland Online
  • New all-talk radio hopes to get tongues wagging - Scotsman
  • Wednesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International ... - FinFacts Ireland
  • Bid deadline nears for Ireland's TV3 - source - Reuters.uk
  • Bid deadline nears for Ireland's TV3 - source - Reuters
  • Ellis Island: They call it Thundersnow - Belfast Telegraph

Related articles

Image:Wikipedia-small.png Wikipedia article about Ulster Television (search). This article uses material from that article.