UTV Media has said the recent media speculation about the potential sale of its television assets has had a negative impact on trading within its Irish television business.

In a short statement to the Dublin stock exchange, UTV Media said that as a result it now expects that losses for its Irish television business will reach about £13m.

The £13m figure is up from the company's predication in June that UTV Ireland would make a full year loss of £11.5m.

The company added today, however, that trading within its Northern Irish television business and its radio division are both broadly in line with its expectations.

In August, UTV Media confirmed that it was in talks regarding a potential sale of its television assets. These discussions led to a further announcement in October that UTV had agreed a conditional deal to sell its television assets to ITV for £100m.

Shares in the company were sharply lower in Dublin trade today.