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Monday 22 September 2014

TV wars hot up as Kenny joins UTV Ireland - 
but earnings will be hit

Published 24/08/2014 | 02:30

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Pat Kenny, soon to be of UTV

UTV Ireland will surpass TV3 by the end of 2016, its chief executive has claimed. The media company's new Irish station expects to overtake TV3 as the nation's second most watched station within two years.

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"We will be looking for a share of viewers in the higher teens at least," chief executive John McCann said.

It is too early to tell whether the majority of viewers will be switching over from RTE or TV3, he added.

UTV is investing heavily in the new Irish channel, which will be headquartered in Dublin 1. It is spending €8m this year on capital expenditure for the channel such as studios and equipment. That figure does not include the salaries of stars like Pat Kenny and Alison Comyn, who have joined its presenting team, or the undisclosed cost of a broadcasting rights deal with ITV for shows like Emmerdale.

The station's start-up costs will affect earnings this year, McCann said, including half-year earnings due for release on Tuesday. But the station should be profitable by the end of 2015.

"In the short term there will be some kind of negative impact on earnings, but we expect to move into profitability by the end of year one."

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