Wireless Group plc

Group History

  • Ulster Television is appointed by the Independent Television Authority as Programme ` Contractor for Northern Ireland
  • Ulster Television goes ‘on air’ on 31 October: Sir Lawrence Olivier delivers the first official broadcast
  • Ulster Television is re-branded on screen as UTV
  • UTV acquires Direct Net Access in March for £4.25m and re-launches as UTV Internet
  • UTV acquires Cork radio stations 96FM and C103 in April for €44.357m
  • UTV acquires Limerick's Live95FM in June for €17.5m
  • UTV acquires Dublin’s Lite FM in December for €17m (renamed Q102 in 2004)
  • UTV acquires Louth/Meath's LMFM for €10.8m in February
  • UTV acquires The Wireless Group (TWG) for £97m in June comprising talkSPORT, the UK's number one commercial speech radio station, 16 local radio stations and stakes in 5 of the UK's digital radio multiplexes
  • UTV acquires 50% of London-based First Radio Sales in September
  • UTV acquires Liverpool’s Juice FM in September
  • In March, Ofcom awards the FM radio licence for Greater Belfast to UTV and new station, U105 goes on air on 14 November
  • UTV acquires Tibus in February, the leading all-Ireland web development company for £4m
  • UTV acquires FM104 in April, the leading commercial radio station in Dublin for €55m
  • UTV acquires online jobs portal, Recruit NI, in January
  • UTV Media (GB) acquires the high quality Sport magazine in May
  • UTV launches online cars portal, UTV Drive, in September
  • In June, UTV acquires 50% of PropertyPal, one of NI’s leading online property websites
  • UTV acquires three GB radio licences for Telford, Shropshire and Kidderminster in February and merges them with The Wolf to create new station Signal 107
  • UTV launches its new website with significantly increased programme content
  • UTV signs new television network arrangements with ITV plc in March
  • UTV acquires Dublin-based social media agency, Simply Zesty, in March for £1.7m
  • talkSPORT launches new worldwide service in August broadcasting commentary to every Premier League game in multiple languages available globally
  • UTV merges its digital agencies Tibus and Simply Zesty under Simply Zesty in January
  • UTV Internet changes its name to UTV Connect in January
  • UTV announces plans to launch a new TV channel in Republic of Ireland in November
  • UTV’s regional Channel 3 broadcasting licence is renewed by Ofcom for 10 years starting 1 January 2015
  • UTV Ireland signs a 10 year content contract with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland to start broadcasting on 1 January 2015
  • UTV restructures its divisions into Radio GB, Radio Ireland and Television. Simply Zesty and Tibus move into Television, UTV Connect customer bases sold to Rainbow Communications and Vodafone Ireland and UTV divests of its online portals
  • UTV is awarded a licence to launch talkSPORT 540AM in South Africa with its joint venture partners in April
  • UTV Ireland goes live in the Republic of Ireland on 1 January 2015
  • In March, UTV Media (GB) along with its two Sound Digital consortium partners Bauer Media and Arqiva was awarded the UK’s second national DAB multiplex licence by the communications regulator Ofcom. Sound Digital has committed to launching its network within 12 months of Ofcom’s decision and UTV plans to launch four new radio stations on this service in 2016.
  • In October, Juice FM was sold to Global Radio.
  • In January UTV Media plc is renamed as Wireless Group PLC following the sale of its television division to ITV plc.
  • Wireless Group PLC is acquired by News UK & Ireland Ltd, in September.
  • In November, Wireless Group de-lists from London Stock Exchange and becomes Wireless Group, a wholly owned part of News UK & Ireland Ltd.

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