Belfast Telegraph

Sale of UTV's former radio stations to Rupert Murdoch backed

By John Mulligan

The acquisition of UTV's former radio stations by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has been backed by shareholders.

News Corporation tabled a £220m bid in June to buy Northern Ireland-based Wireless Group, formerly UTV.

The sale includes Belfast station U105 and stations in the Republic such as Dublin's FM104 and Cork's 98FM

News Corporation said acceptances in respect of more than 92% of Wireless shares have now been received, enabling the deal to go unconditional.

The deal was initially announced at the end of June with News Corporation looking to take advantage of the company's comprehensive sport coverage through talkSPORT.

The sports radio broadcaster has 3.2 million listeners with exclusive commentary rights to Premier League games.

In Ireland, Wireless Group's radio stations made a combined operating profit of £4.3m (€4.99m).

Wireless Group was formed after the TV assets of UTV were sold to ITV in a £100m deal.

Belfast Telegraph