UTV Ireland has said it plans to start broadcasting in the Republic of Ireland in January 2015.

In a statement, UTV Media said it welcomed the announcement by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland to enter into talks with its subsidiary UTV Ireland for a TV content provision contract, under section 71 of the Broadcasting Act. 

UTV submitted its application to the BAI in November 2013 after the signing of a deal with ITV Studios Global Entertainment. 

This deal gives UTV the exclusive broadcasting rights for ITV Studios programmes for the Republic of Ireland audience, including popular soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

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

"The audience in Ireland has known the UTV brand for more than 50 years through our station for Northern Ireland and our market leading Irish radio stations. We look forward to building on that success with the launch of UTV Ireland in January 2015," said UTV Media's group chief executive John McCann.