Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ulster Television plc is the ITV contractor for Northern Ireland. It is one of the two remaining stand-alone ITV contractors left, the others forming groupings such as ITV plc (Formerly Carlton and Granada) and SMG, with Channel being the other remaining independent company. Political sensitivities led to the channel bringing the use of the abbreviation UTV to the fore, as the use of word 'Ulster ' is controversial among Northern Ireland's two communities. Since June 4, 1993, Ulster Television has been known on-air as simply UTV, and off air is now referred to as UTV Group. UTV's main programmes are the nightly news UTV Live, current affairs programme Insight, the talkshow Kelly, School Around the Corner, and Lesser Spotted Ulster.
UTV is notable for being the last ITV company to use on-screen continuity announcers, a once-common practice that was discontinued by most other stations in the 1980s. Julian Simmons is the company's lead continuity announcer.
|Launched:||31st October 1959|
|Audience Share:||5.8% (ROI - Jan'05)|
|Owned By:||Ulster Television plc|
|NTL Digital:||Northern Ireland channel 103, Republic of Ireland channel 107,|
|Chorus Digital:||channel 7|
|Satellite:||Sky Digital channel 103 (Northern Ireland only).|
UTV is also available in the Republic of Ireland, either on cable and MMDS systems, or directly in border areas. This puts UTV in the unique position of having as many viewers, if not more, outside its franchise area, and indeed, outside the United Kingdom. UTV was for many years the third most popular channel in the Republic, prior to the introduction of TV3. The company has its own sales office in Dublin, and is floated on the ISE in addition to the LSE, where ITV plc and SMG plc are traded.
Due to the political situation in Northern Ireland, and the large number of viewers in the Republic of Ireland, UTV always operated a .ie and a .co.uk website prior to the availability of the .tv TLD. They were displayed at the same height from the base of the screen to avoid any accusations of favoritism.
However, while UTV has been available to the whole of the United Kingdom via the Sky Digital system since 2001, it is not yet available on satellite in the Republic, owing to rights issues, as many ITV programmes are also shown on the commercial channel TV3, which is partly owned by Granada. This is one of the few advantages over Sky Digital that cable/MMDS operators can boast of.
UTV is continuing the move from a simple ITV contractor towards a true media company. It owns three Republic of Ireland independent local radio contractors - Live 95FM in Limerick, Q102 in Dublin and 96FM County Sound in Cork, which incorporates a separate radio entity, 103fm - itself subdivided across County Cork. The UTV group also owns Cork city advertising-based freesheet newspaper Inside Cork.
UTV are also a telecoms operator throughout Ireland (north and south). They own the internet service provider UTV Internet, through which they provide broadband and dial-up internet packages. In August 2004 the company moved into the telephone market offering free off-peak calls with a new service, UTV Talk.
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