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Ireland targets UK TV exodus after Brexit

The Republic of Ireland is positioning itself as a potential home to international broadcasters based in the UK who may need to relocate to a European Union country after Brexit.

Martin Shanahan

The country’s foreign investment authority is aiming to persuade firms such as Discovery, Turner, Viacom and Disney to locate their EU-regulated headquarters in Dublin, according to The Guardian.

International broadcasters require a “country of origin” licence in one EU state to be able to broadcaster throughout the bloc, which has led to speculation that some firms may move their European HQs from London to another city in the EU.

A number of banks, including Bank of America and Barclays, have selected Dublin and their post-Brexit hub ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU, and Ireland is hoping international broadcasters will follow suit.

However, the country faces competition from the likes of the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium and Luxembourg, which are all hoping to lure broadcasters over from the UK.

“The likes of Discovery, Turner – they are all potential movers,” Martin Shanahan, the head of Ireland’s Industrial Development Authority, told The Guardian on a visit to London. “We are going to be starting conversations with some of these organisations in the near future.”

Brexit could threaten up to £1bn (US$1.4bn) of annual investment in the UK by international broadcasters, a report published earlier this month suggested.

The research also highlighted the UK’s status as Europe’s leading international broadcasting hub and that this would be under threat if the country doesn’t secure access to the EU markets for international broadcasters based in Britain.

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