UTV has announced it plans to establish a new channel in the Republic of lreland with offices in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick, creating 100 new jobs by 2015.

UTV Media plc said its subsidiary UTV Ireland Limited will make an application to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) for a Content Provision Contract today.

This announcement comes after an agreement was signed by the company with ITV Studios Global Entertainment to give UTV the exclusive broadcasting rights for ITV Studios programmes for the Republic of Ireland audience, including popular soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale from early 2015, once appropriate statutory broadcasting licences are in place.

The channel will be based in Dublin with additional newsgathering and reporting presence in Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick.

It is planned that the channel will be on air in early 2015.

John McCann, Group Chief Executive, UTV Media plc said: "The audience in Ireland has known the UTV brand for more than 50 years through our station for Northern Ireland and we're delighted to announce our plans for a new dedicated channel for viewers in the Republic of Ireland.

"UTV Media already has a very strong presence in the Republic of Ireland employing more than 300 people in our various businesses including our market leading Irish radio stations. We look forward to building on that success with the launch of a new Irish TV channel.”