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Virgin Media owner buys Irish TV3

The owner of Virgin Media, Liberty Global, has taken over Irish commercial broadcaster TV3 from previous owner Doughty Hanson in a €80 million deal.

Liberty Global operates cable TV under the UPC Ireland brand in the Republic.

UPC Ireland chief executive Magnus Ternsjö said: 
 “We’re pleased to welcome TV3 to the Liberty Global family.”
“The investment we are making today secures the long-term future of TV3. With its wide range of home-grown programming, TV3 holds a unique place in the heart of Irish viewers.”

TV3 has faced stiff competition in the Irish Republic following the launch of rival station UTV Ireland, which took TV3's rights to show ITV shows including Coronation Street and Emmerdale at the beginning of the year. TV3 is reportedly preparing to launch an HD channel on Sky Ireland in time for the Rugby World Cup.

TV3 is distributed in standard definition on Irish DTT service Saorview as well as on UPC Ireland's cable network and on Sky Ireland. It also operates sister channel 3e. Its free-to-air carriage on Saorview was the subject of a long-running dispute with platform operator 2rn (the former RTÉNL).

Viewers in the UK can watch a selection of TV3 programmes on-demand via the 3Player on Roku for £5.49 a month.


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