07/02/2012

UTV Expands Its Local Radio Network

UTV Media has acquired three local radio licences held by MNAB for Telford, Shropshire and Kidderminster to add to its GB radio division which comprises national station talkSPORT and 13 local stations across England and Wales.

These stations will be merged with UTV’s existing station The Wolf to create a new station Signal 107 which will have a potential market of almost 900,000 listeners.

John McCann, Group Chief Executive, UTV Media plc said: "UTV’s local radio business is all about delivering entertaining, engaging and relevant radio to listeners at a local level, and our recent RAJAR and JNLR ratings results continue to encourage us along this path.

"The purchase of these three licences is an important step in growing our local radio network which includes U105 in Belfast and seven local radio stations in the Republic of Ireland. With radio now the largest division in the UTV Group, we look forward to building on our recent ratings success in Ireland and GB in 2012."

UTV’s local radio stations in GB together posted a year-on-year increase of 11% in listening audiences and a 9% increase in listening hours in the last quarter of 2011 according to latest industry figures released by RAJAR.

U105 in Northern Ireland achieved its highest ever market share and listening hours since it launched in 2005 reaching 211,000 people in the same quarter, an increase of 51% year on year; with listening hours up to their highest ever 2.44 million per week and market share now at a record 13.7%.

talkSPORT has reached 3.2 million listeners for this quarter, an increase of 2% quarter on quarter. Listening hours have also increased by 7.3% quarter on quarter and now stand at 22 million. Live football has continued to prove a success for the station, with the live Premier League game on a Saturday evening attracting 9.6% more listeners than at the same point in 2010.

In the Republic of Ireland, UTV is the largest local radio player, the UTV stations; Dublin's FM104, Q102, Cork's 96/C103, Limerick's Live 95FM, Galway Bay FM, Louth Meath's LMFM and Beat 102-103 combined now have a daily reach of 833,000 listeners or 23.8% of the national population. These stations deliver a significant audience in every key urban area in Ireland.

UTV Media plc is one of the most successful media companies in the UK and Ireland incorporating Radio, Television, New Media and Publishing.

(LB)

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