Well this is quite sad really, in an end of an era sort of way. In practical terms though, does UTV NI actually produce that much more local content than an ITV franchise? I know there's a late night news update but aside from news there doesn't appear to be much there. It'll be missed more during major events like elections, I imagine. In NI, as previously said, UTV would surely become ITV on screen and ITV News Northern Ireland for local news.
In terms of the Republic, you'd have to imagine this will eventually leave TV3 in a bit of trouble. Once the rights for any ITV shows run out surely ITV would keep them, which means all the big non-Irish shows would be with them. TV3 could hit back with repeats but against every single show?
Politically and licence-wise I assume ITV would have to keep producing national news from the Republic, but is there scope for closer working with ITN to help with international news? If so, if ITV was interested in this side of things (unlikely) they could produce a better rival for RTE given ITN's international resources.
It does seem UTV thought they would charge into the Republic, take TV3's TV rights, that TV3 would just roll over and they would become defacto Channel 3. It's clearly not been that simple. I suspect the idea of a broadcaster from the UK coming in and thinking people in the Republic would roll over hasn't gone down well with everyone as well.
Surely it can't continue to support two commercial broadcasters?
I'm currently mourning the almost inevitable demise of Santawatch ...
TV3 are being bought by UPC, who have also been rumoured to be interested in ITV...could UPC/ITV be lining to merge UTV Ireland and TV3? Probably not, but this is all very interesting News.
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