Liberty Global is in in advanced discussions with the owners of Irelandís TV3 over a possible takeover of the terrestrial channel.

The Irish Times reported Friday that a deal is still months away, particularly when regulatory considerations are taken into account.

Liberty Global already owns Irelandís principal cable operator UPC and its chairman John Malone has heavily invested in Irish property in recent years.

TV3 is owned by the British equity company Doughty Hanson. Since the start of the year its position in the Irish market has been challenged by UTV Ireland, which has resulted in the loss of key ITV shows, such as Coronation Street and Britainís Got Talent from the TV3 schedule. Liberty itself has a small stake in ITV.

This autumn TV3 will have exclusive rights to the Rugby World Cup, which is boosting its advertising sales in an already positive year.

A Liberty Global spokesman declined to comment.