Belfast Telegraph

UTV predicting surge in profits from World Cup coverage

By Clare Weir

Belfast-based radio and television broadcaster UTV Media plc said it expects a big boost to its coffers later this year due to advertising related to the World Cup.

The company's interim management statement recorded growth across radio in Great Britain and Ireland, and in television.

UTV Media said revenue rose 7% to £27.8m for the quarter ended March 31.

First-quarter revenue from its Great Britain radio unit rose 10% for the quarter and talkSPORT's revenue was up 16%.

talkSPORT had particularly strong growth, fuelled by the build-up to the FIFA World Cup, which will also be shown on UTV in Northern Ireland.

Revenue at UTV's television business, which accounted for about a third of sales last year, rose 4%, with London net advertising revenue up 3% and Irish net advertising revenue up 11%.

The firm, which has radio broadcasting rights to the event in Brazil, expects revenue to rise 18% in the current quarter, with its radio station talkSPORT set to report a 45% increase.

For the first six months of 2014, Great Britain radio revenue is expected to increase by 18% on last year, radio in Ireland by 5% and television by 9%, giving a group revenue increase of 12%, in line with expectations.

The company will launch UTV Ireland in early 2015.

This week, it announced senior appointments to the new channel – including six senior staff who are leaving Irish broadcaster TV3 to join the new rival channel.

Belfast Telegraph