Belfast Telegraph

TalkSport profit gets Euro boost

An advertising boost from the Euro 2012 football tournament has helped the owner of radio station talkSport weather "choppy" trading conditions.

Belfast-based UTV Media, which is the ITV licence holder for Northern Ireland, said half-year radio operating profits rose 14% to £10 million, offsetting a £1 million drop in television profits to £2.1 million.

Revenues from talkSport rose 16% to £17.2 million on the back of Euro 2012, but UTV said there was no impact from the Olympics and that trading conditions overall in the current quarter were not as good as hoped.

It is facing a difficult television market in Ireland, with a 3% fall in net advertising revenues over the first half being weaker than the rest of the ITV network.

Chairman Richard Huntingford warned: "We would anticipate that with lacklustre conditions in Ireland, our television revenues will underperform the UK television market."

Across the group, pre-tax profits were 3% higher at £11.2 million after revenues lifted 4% to £61.6 million in the six months to June 30.

At talkSport, whose line up of presenters includes former Sky Sports pair Andy Gray and Richard Keys, the station recently secured a deal with the Football Association for commercial radio rights for the FA Cup at home and overseas.

And it has just broadcast its first Premier League matches in Mandarin and Spanish after winning a package of international audio rights for the next four football seasons.

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