UTV Ireland to be available on all digital TV platforms

UPC channel 110, Sky channel 110 and eircom’s eVision channel 108 to host UTV Ireland content

Eoin Clarke
by Eoin Clarke on 2nd December, 2014

UTV Ireland will be available on all of the major television platforms when it launches at the start of 2015, the company has revealed.

Programming will go live on the 1st of January on Sky channel 116, UPC channel 110 and on eircom’s eVision service on channel 108.

UTV Ireland will also be available via free-to-air television platform Saorview, minister for communications Alex White has announced.

Saorview is operated by RTE subsidiary 2RN and Irish television customers will now be able to watch UTV Ireland when it launches after Mr White agreed the channel for carriage.

 UTV Ireland on UPC and Sky 

Michael Wilson, managing director of UTV Ireland, said the firm has worked during the past year “to create an indigenous Irish channel”.

He said the channel will include news and current affairs, as well as Irish produced content and the best from other worldwide programming.

UPC Ireland chief executive Magnus Ternsjo welcomed the announcement as UPC bids to build on its range of programming and entertainment options.

“The way people enjoy TV is changing as customers with busy lives embrace technology to take control of their viewing,” he said.

“We are meeting this demand through our revolutionary new Horizon TV service and superfast broadband.”

JD Buckley, Managing Director of Sky Ireland, said: “We are delighted to partner with UTV Ireland so that we can offer our customers more of their favourite shows across Sky’s platforms.

Adding UTV Ireland to Sky’s customer offering confirms our commitment to providing quality content and increasing value to our subscribers”.

Objections to Saorview

TV3 had objected to the plans to allow UTV Ireland onto Saorview, putting forward a legal argument as to why it should not be eligible for carriage.

TV3 operates under a different licence to UTV, with the latter not requiring as much news and current affairs programming.

This does however mean TV3 has a prominent placing on UPC and Sky television guides while UTV will be slightly less prominent in the listings.

UTV Ireland will replace the “Northern” service on UPC, while the channel did not previously have a spot on Sky’s electronic programming guide so viewers needed to manually tune it in.