ITV is poised to capture UTV this week in a deal expected to value the Northern Ireland broadcaster at about £100m.
The channel is part of UTV Media, the London-listed company that owns TalkSport and a number of radio stations in the UK and Ireland.
The takeover will be the latest in a series of raids by chief executive Adam Crozier, who recently snapped up the production house behind The Voice for as much as £781m.
UTV has retained its independence since its launch in 1958.
It broadcasts ITV programmes, but pads out its schedule with locally produced shows.
It has been the springboard for several Northern Irish TV stars, including as Eamonn Holmes.
Analysts value UTV at £100m-£125m.
However, it is thought that ITV is in a position to drive a hard bargain because of the botched launch earlier this year of a station south of the border.
© Times Newspapers Ltd 2015.