- UTV Media
company_name = UTV Media plc
company_type = Public - LSE and ISE
February 17, 1959(as Ulster Television Limited)
Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
key_people = John McGuckian (Chairman)
John McCann (Chief Executive)
Television, radio, internetservices
revenue = £92.7M GBP ()
UTV UTV Radio UTV Internet
homepage = [http://www.utvmedia.com www.utvmedia.com]
UTV Media plc (formerly Ulster Television plc and UTV plc) is a
broadcastingand New Mediacompany based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Its main operation is the ITV(Channel 3) franchise for Northern Ireland, and it is also the owner of UTV Radio, which operates the UK Independent National Radio station talkSPORT, along with 17 radiostations in the United Kingdomand 5 in the Republic of Ireland. UTV is available terrestrially to 98% of Northern Ireland's population, and is now available, through a number of platforms as well as via terrestrial overspill, to 70% of the Republic's.
UTV Media was able to expand between 2004 and 2006, largely due to its investment in and purchase of radio stations. It has had a large increase in business turnover, which was up 46% on 2004; pre-tax profits rose by 12%, and employment rose by 500 people to more than double the figure in 2004. In 2006, total sales were £113.6m of which
UTV Radioaccounted for 54%, television 37% and 9% from New Media. 48% of operating profits were earned in the radio side of the business, with 47% derived from television and 5% from new media.
In August and September 2006 UTV Media made two merger proposals to SMG plc (now known as
STV Group plc), which operates the northern and central Scottish ITVfranchises as STV. The latter proposal would have given SMG shareholders 52% of the merged company. However on 20 September 2006 UTV abandoned the plans after SMG rejected the offer as "unacceptable" [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5364182.stm BBC News] - UTV scraps plans for SMG merger] .
On 10 January 2007, however: SMG and UTV media groups announced that they had agreed the details of their merger, including a revised share split between the two. UTV would comprise 54% of the new group. Troubled SMG, which owns ITV's Scottish and Grampian franchises (which it operates under the brand name
STV) as well as SMG Productions, would comprise the remaining 46% [ [http://www.thebusinessonline.com/Document.aspx?id=F1FE66B5-A1D6-414C-B350-94E0A5342A2F BBC News] - UTV gains ground in SMG merger negotiations] . The details were expected to be finalised before the end of January, but things then were put on hold [ [http://business.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=548&id=106142007 Slow going as SMG holds back on merger - Scotsman.com Business ] ] . On 28 February 2007SMG called off the merger [ [http://uk.biz.yahoo.com/28022007/214/smg-ends-utv-merger-talks.html SMG ends UTV merger talks ] ] .
Historically, the company was called Ulster Television plc, but this was changed to UTV plc in June 2006 following shareholder approval. [ [http://www.utvplc.com/uploads/statements/UTVNoticeofAGM2005.pdf UTV Plc] - UTV Notice of 2005 AGM ] On
16 August 2007a further change was proposed with the reorganisation of the group into a holding company and a number of operating subsidiaries. As part of this change - which was approved by an extraordinary general meetingon 19 September 2007[http://www.investegate.co.uk/Article.aspx?id=200709191302131153E] - UTV shareholders exchanged their shares for stock in a new holding company - UTV Media plc - at the rate of 1:1 . The existing UTV plc became a wholly-owned subsidiary of UTV Media following the share swap, and will become the operating company of the ITV franchise, UTV. UTV plc's interests in most of its major subsidiaries, such as UTV Radioand UTV Internet, were transferred to UTV Media from the effective date of the share swap. The new structure came into effect on 15 October 2007[http://www.investegate.co.uk/Article.aspx?id=200710151201257084F] .
UTV is one of the two remaining stand-alone
ITVcontractors left, along with Channel, with the others having grouped into ITV plc(which owns eleven franchises) and STV Group plc(which owns two). UTV is also widely viewed in the Republic of Ireland where it has a greater number of potential viewers.
UTV also operated a local version of
ITV2known as TV You, later UTV2.
UTV has diversified considerably from its ITV franchise and radio now constitutes the largest proportion of turnover and profit. It started by purchasing a number of Radio Stations in the
Republic of Irelandand acquiring stakes in stations in Great Britain. In 2005 the company acquired The Wireless Groupplc, with ownership of 16 radio stations and broadcasting facilities, which it rebranded, along with its radio stations in Ireland as UTV Radio. In 2005 UTV also launched its first Radio Station in Northern Ireland, U105which broadcasts to the Belfast area.
The URL u.tv is the address of the main website of UTV the Northern Irish ITV franchise holder. The website offers News, Sport and Entertainment news and is also home to the companies ISP services.
UTV own the internet service provider UTV Internet, through which they provide broadband and dial-up internet packages. UTV operates this service in both Northern Ireland, and the Republic. Although they do not market themselves to internet subscribers outside the island of Ireland, services are also available in
Great Britain. The "Northern Ireland" section of their broadband website is now entitled "Northern Ireland and rest of UK" [ [http://u.tv/internet/services/clicksilver/index.asp Television, News, Internet and Telephony services from UTV in Northern Ireland ] ] .
In August 2004 the company moved into the telephone market, offering free off-peak calls with a new service, UTV Talk. The service is available to customers in
Northern Irelandas well as the Republic of Ireland.
Broadcast Media Sales is the advertising sales house for UTV Radio in Ireland.
UTV over the years have acquired a large collection of works by mainly Irish Artists. The collection, UTV Art, includes commissions and acquisitions [ [http://www.utvplc.com/utvart.asp?sub=au&sublk=art UTV plc] - An Introduction to the UTV Art Collection] .
* [http://www.utvmedia.com UTV Media Corporate Information]
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