Business

UTV usurps RTE for rights to entrepreneur show

Pictured at the launch of this year's Entrepreneur Of The Year are EY's Kevin McLoughlin (left) and Rob Heron with former finalist Eleanor McEvoy of Budget Energy

UTV has usurped RTE for exclusive rights to broadcast the build-up and 'as-live' shows around this year's Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year (EOY) series.

The business programme - part of a global scheme promoted by EY in 50 countries on six continents - has been running in Ireland for 18 years, and throughout that time the Republic's state broadcaster has been one of its key media partners.

But despite RTE's logo being included on all this year's literature ahead of the finals in Dublin in October, it emerged yesterday that its rival and Belfast broadcaster UTV is now to air the EOY package UTV and UTV Ireland this coming autumn.

Beginning in September, the series will profile the 2015 EOY finalists who have displayed exceptional entrepreneurial skills and business acumen in recent years throughout Ireland and punch above their weight internationally.

The series will consist of five half-hour programmes looking at entrepreneurship across Ireland as well as detailing the stories behind each of this year’s finalists. It will be supported by extensive digital activity on u.tv

The series will culminate with the announcement of the 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year winner at an awards bash in Dublin on October 22 and broadcast as a one-hour special exclusively on UTV and UTV Ireland.

UTV managing director Michael Wilson said: “The EOY programme is highly committed to supporting and nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs and business owners in Ireland.

"We are proud to broadcast this series, promoting that ethos, by bringing this exciting business initiative to the audience through the exclusive broadcasting of the series later this year including the awards ceremony.”

Kevin McLoughlin, head of the EY Entrepreneur of The Year programme, added: “We're looking forward to bringing these incredible stories of innovation and entrepreneurship to life for viewers across the island of Ireland.

"We believe the viewers will find the stories of our finalists, told in their own words, interesting, encouraging and uplifting, offering a great insight into the impact they are having on communities, towns and villages."

Four Northern Ireland entrepreneurs are among the 24 finalists in this year's EY Entrepreneur Of The Year programme.

They include Vita Liberata founder Alyson Hogg in the International category, Catherine O'Neill from Belfast-based engineering firm Amelio Group in the emerging category, and both Jack Dobson (Dunbia) and Terry Knox (CD Group) in the industry section.

Chosen by an independent judging panel of previous winners chaired by 2006 Entrepreneur Of The Year winner Anne Heraty, the finalists represent a broad spectrum of sectors from technology, manufacturing and life sciences through to engineering, agriculture and health & beauty. They also boast a combined workforce of more than 5,000 people and turnover of €1.5 billion.

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