UTV Ireland, UTV and the border question

Sometimes you scroll along your Twitter feed and find a small piece of information that just grabs your eye. Today was one of those days as I saw on UTV Ireland’s twitter feed the response that viewers in Northern Ireland would not be able to recieve programming from the new channel.

This tweet caused a bit of a stir on Twitter with some folks protesting that the new channel would not be available in Northern Ireland. So, providing the essential public service that we do on Slugger, I contacted UTV to recieve some clarity on the issue.

I asked will no UTV Ireland programming be available at all in Northern Ireland?

UTV told me that UTV Ireland is for viewers in the Republic of Ireland, whilst the UTV we have at the moment is for Northern Ireland. There will be some cross over in programming with programmes like Rare Breed and Lesser Spotted Journey’s being showcased on both channels.

How about people on Saorview/freeview?

If you have Soarview you will indeed get UTV Ireland, if you have a high end freeview box you might be to recieve UTV Ireland but the station told me that this is “overspill, not a target audience.”

But, what about the future, will we see UTV Ireland made more widely available to viewers in Northern Ireland?

The answer is a no, as the channel intends to provide UTV Ireland for the South and keep UTV for the North.

Hopefully this clears up some of the confusion from the day, but if you are punting for UTV Ireland on most sets then this will be a disappointment.

But hey at least it’s another item to add to the Nationlist list of things to unify in a united Ireland.

, , ,

  • Bryan Magee

    I gather that people in ROI have been watching television from NI for many years, so it makes sense for UTV to market a specialist product specially to profit better from the ROI market.

  • sean treacy

    Thanks,but one UTV is one too many as far as I’m concerned.

  • Interesting. I watched Paul and Rose enthuse about UTV Ireland this evening and maybe I forgot to take my medication, but I picked up no hint that those of us north of the border would suffer from a UTV Ireland famine. In fact, the phrase ‘Available on all platforms’ was delivered in ringing tones several times. Shurely shome mishtake?

  • Superfluous

    Seeing .ie on all those UTV adverts made me feel as if was already in a united Ireland 🙁

  • Michael Eden

    UTV – Unionist T V.When did you last see an Irish language programme on here.
    Nothing relating to Irish culture is ever featured.UTV Ireland will not be on my priority

  • NMS

    Bryan, I can’t really see it having a major pull on RTÉ, however it will probably hit TV3 quite badly. However if it was to start showing a lot of GAA matches, then it could develop a loyal following.

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    Surely if there is to be an irish language element on the channel then it would be an easy win for utv to air this in the north, especially with the current fuss.

  • The Lagan

    U for Ulster in the title, but refuse to transmit in most of Ulster.

  • Bryan Magee

    The Lagan, the U does not stand for Ulster anymore – as I understand it.

    Just like the B in BT does not stand for British.Or the B in FlyBE does not any more stand for British.

    UTV is transmitted in NI, UTV Ireland in ROI. What could be simpler?

  • Bryan Magee

    You make a good point NMS, as always.

    Mind you, it will have things like Coronation Street and X Factor which have proven themselves popular in the NI market. Could well garner a good share. They’re quite “good at what they do” to coin a favourite euphemism.

  • Bryan Magee

    Ladies and gentlemen: we have a UTV viewer.

  • Dan

    Hope they are taking Julian down there to do his camp VoiceOver hilarity. We’ve suffered enough.

  • Ernekid

    The hoops you have to go through to get a decent RTE signal in the North are a right ballache.

    If RTE wanted to their bit for Irish unity boosting their signal in Belfast would be greatly appreciated. This is a stupid move by UTV in my opinion but how much original content will UTV Ireland have? will it be like TG4 and have actually great documentary’s and drama series or will it just be repeats of Corrie?

  • Ernekid

    It’s still Ulster Television. No name change.

  • Belfast Barman(ager)


  • Ernekid

    We don’t all have the funds for that. I’d like to be able to watch the Late Late Toy show without giving my cash to Rupert Murdoch

  • Bryan Magee

    Do you need to ask Ernekid? It will be very close to UTV, Corrie etc., but with some cosmetic changes, and the adverts will be for the southern market.

  • Bryan Magee

    I can’t get RTE in NI after it went digital. Don’t have Sky.Actually don’t really miss RTE that much, though occasionally there was a current affairs or doc that was worth watching.

  • It’s dirty work but someone has to do it, Bryan…

  • Comrade Stalin

    Actually it isn’t. The company is called UTV and they never say Ulster Television on air – haven’t for around 20 years.

    (never mind “Ulster” – people don’t even say “Television” anymore)

  • barnshee

    “will it be like TG4 and have actually great documentary’s and drama series or will it just be repeats of Corrie?”

    What ? repeats of “Bonanza” is greast dram? I keep waiting for the Cartwrights to burst into Irish TG4 great —LOL

  • The 2010 Memorandum of Understanding between the two governments “for continuing co-operation on broadcasting issues on the island of Ireland” relates specifically to RTÉ [TG4, RTÉ One and RTÉ Two] and BBC services.

    The Memorandum commits the two Governments to facilitating the widespread availability of RTE services in Northern Ireland on a free-to-air basis, and BBC services in Ireland on a paid for basis.

    It should be noted that you need a HD Freeview system to be able to view the RTÉ signal in Northern Ireland.

    UTV, being a private company, can do whatever they want. And what they want is, apparently, to usurp TV3.
    As for whether UTV Ireland was ever supposed to be available in Northern Ireland. Well, the clue’s in the name…

  • Dec

    ‘Well, the clue’s in the name…’
    Err, no it’s not

  • WindsorRocker

    Does this just not all boil down to the legal reality of our membership of the UK and that broadcasting is not a devolved function and that most TV rights of substance are sold on a UK wide basis with the ROI treated entirely separately. A bit like blocking The Fall on RTE now on a Sunday night for viewers in NI or indeed blocking the EPL highlights on RTE on a Saturday evening as BBC have the rights for UK EPL highlights?
    Whilst there are many things that can be watered down when it comes to our membership of the UK, (such as the UK City of Culture bid that lost the “UK” bit pretty early on….), the commercial reality of TV rights is a harsh fact of there being a border on this island and the likes of Sky, the Beeb and ITV aren’t going to pay too much attention to political aspirations when it comes to cold hard cash.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Southerners don’t have to endure UTV owned TalkSport, Northerners won’t have to endure “Ulster Television for the other three provinces”. It seems a fair allocation of the punishment. And before anyone says what about Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan … unfortunately, I’ve picked up both UTV and Talksport in Muff, Blacklion and Castleblayney so there’s no sanctuary for these poor souls either way.

  • Kevin Breslin

    And yet they’re an ISEQ company funnily enough.

  • Trevor McCusker

    I was in Brookeborough in Co Fermanagh today Saturday 13 December 2014. And I got the test card for utv ireland, So you can get it in Fermanagh. This was on a Samsung Smart tv 19 inch using the local outside tv aerial. First on the tv remote go to menu, Up date software, Then scroll down to Broadcasting, Then scroll down to auto tuning then press, then you will see press to start to search for and store channels!, Press, It should then say Aerial Air and below that it will say, Channel Type. Move down to channell type, It will say DIgital & Analogue press, then you will see 3 options (1) Digital & Analogue, (2) Digital, (3) Analogue. You must select option 2. Then it will say below scan, Press scan. And let it scan all the channels. And then exit. That’s it. UTV Ireland is on digital channel 872. Good luck, Trevor

  • Trevor McCusker

    You will get RTE on smart tv in Northern Ireland, without the internet. Get a Samsung smart tv.

  • Bedhead1157

    I wish they would, there’s nothing funny about a fake tanned 60 year old man doing a bad Larry Grayson impression.

  • Trevor McCusker

    Get a Samsung smart tv and you will get RTE Channels.