US mogul Malone 'to take stake in UTV Ireland'
us billionaire John Malone could take a stake in the country's newest national TV station, UTV Ireland, only months after buying rival station TV3.
Reports indicate that UK company ITV, of which Malone owns a tenth via his media business Liberty Global, is trying to buy UTV's television arm. This includes a Northern Irish station as well as its fledgling station in the Republic.
Mr Malone is one of the single biggest buyers of Irish assets. As well as TV3 and UPC, he owns hotels and other major property assets.
The multi-million pound deal is expected to be confirmed to the London Stock Exchange next week, according to the 'Belfast Telegraph', and will mark the first time the TV channel has passed out of local control since it was set up in 1958.
UTV already broadcasts much of ITV's programming, having won the rights to show ITV content in the Republic from TV3. However, the two are separate companies.
Both UTV and ITV declined to comment.