The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has today (Thursday, 27th February) signed a television content provision contract with UTV Ireland Limited, under Section 71 of the Broadcasting Act.
The contract was signed by Bob Collins, Chairperson and Michael O’Keeffe, Chief Executive, on behalf of the BAI and by John McCann, Group Chief Executive, UTV Media Plc and Michael Wilson, Managing Director, UTV Television, on behalf of UTV Ireland Limited, at the Authority’s offices in Dublin.
On 6th November last, UTV Ireland announced that it was applying for a licence under Section 71 of the 2009 Act. On 6th February, the BAI announced that it was entering into contract negotiations with UTV Ireland. Today’s signing of the contract is the culmination of that process.
‘UTV Ireland’ will be based in Dublin and will be a general entertainment channel. Its schedule will initially include a nightly news and current affairs programme (Monday to Thursday), together with a range of acquired documentary, drama and film content. It is envisaged that the new service will commence broadcasting in January 2015.
Speaking about the contract signing, BAI Chairperson, Bob Collins said, “Today’s contract signing with UTV Ireland Limited is to be welcomed, particularly for the additional choice and increased diversity of content that it will offer to Irish viewers. The company is well known to the BAI as a contractor for several radio services operating in the State. The Authority wishes the company every success with its television venture in this jurisdiction”.
NOTE FOR EDITORS
The contract signed between the BAI and UTV Ireland Limited is provided for under Section 71 of the Broadcasting Act 2009. There are a number of elements to a contract granted under this section of the Act which differ from the regulatory regime applied to the public service broadcasters, RTÉ and TG4, and the commercial broadcaster, TV3 and its sister station, 3e, specifically in the areas of carriage, content, and levy.
Contracts granted by the BAI under Section 71 are for content only and do not carry an automatic right to carriage on a platform. From a programming perspective, the programme service obligations associated with Section 71 extend only to compliance with statutory Codes and Rules and with the European Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive requirements relating to European and Independent Production works. Finally, services licensed under Section 71 of the Act are not subject to a broadcasting levy, while the free-to-air services are all subject to the payment of a levy to the BAI.
Media Queries to:
Tony Heffernan / Catherine Heaney,
Tel: 01-4200580 / 087-2399508 / 087-2309835