The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland is today (Thursday, 6th February) pleased to announce that it will enter into negotiations for a television content provision contract, under Section 71 of the Broadcasting Act, with UTV Ireland Limited. It is envisaged that the new service, ‘UTV Ireland’, will commence broadcasting in January 2015.
Based primarily in Dublin, UTV Ireland will be a general entertainment channel, offering national news and current affairs programming and acquired documentary, drama and film content. It is intended that a one-hour peak time news, current affairs and community programme will be delivered each evening initially and that as the channel grows, UTV Ireland will develop further indigenous Irish content.
The contract to be negotiated 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. However, the contract does enable the contractor to negotiate carriage of the service and its prominence on the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG), with the platform provider. 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. By contrast, both the commercial broadcaster, TV3, and the public service broadcasters, RTÉ and TG4, have a range of additional programming obligations, which are set out in statute. 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.
The BAI will now enter into contract negotiations with UTV Ireland Limited and further details will be announced at the conclusion of the process.
Media Queries to:
Tony Heffernan/Catherine Heaney
01 4200580/ 087 2399508/ 087 2309835