U.K. cable company Virgin Media, a subsidiary of John Malone’s Liberty Global, has signed a deal with British TV group ITV to buy free-to-air commercial broadcaster UTV Ireland, which airs in the Republic of Ireland, for €10 million ($11.1 million). The deal does not include broadcaster UTV, which airs in Northern Ireland.
UTV Ireland was launched in January 2015. Its acquisition follows Virgin’s purchase of rival Irish free-to-air broadcaster TV3 last year.
The ITV agreement includes a 10-year output deal for the Irish rights to ITV-produced programming, such as soap operas “Emmerdale” and “Coronation Street.”
David Bouchier, chief digital entertainment officer at Virgin Media, said: “The acquisition of UTV Ireland gives us leadership in commercial broadcasting in Ireland and extends our platform to showcase the best Irish, U.K. and international programming.”
Tony Hanway, CEO of Virgin Media Ireland, said: “This is a very positive development for Irish broadcasting and ensures Virgin Media’s continued investment in top-quality programming and local production.”
The acquisition is subject to approval from the Ireland’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.