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03/08/2010

ITV Announces Move Into Pay TV

ITV has agreed a pay-television deal with Sky to launch high definition versions of its successful digital channels as a subscription service on the Sky platform.
ITV2 HD, ITV3 HD and ITV4 HD will launch as part of Sky+HD's subscription package of channels in autumn 2010. The channels will be available to all homes subscribing to a Sky+HD subscription, of which there are more than 2.9 million.
ITV2 HD will launch in October for the start of The Xtra Factor with ITV3 HD and ITV4 HD launching shortly after.
ITV Chief Executive Adam Crozier said: "I'm delighted to announce ITV's move into pay television today with this deal with Sky. We will launch our highly successful family of digital channels, ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4, in high definition for the very first time as part of the Sky+HD subscription.
"Building new revenue streams by exploiting our content across multiple platforms is a key part of the ITV Transformation Plan announced today. Pay television has seen continual growth over the last decade and this deal is a great example of how a new subscription-based launch, can complement ITV's existing free-to-air channels."
Mike Darcey, Sky's Chief Operating Officer, said: "The subscription model best rewards those committing to HD and continues to drive its growth. We therefore welcome ITV's move to embrace pay TV to satisfy the demands of millions who now regard anything less than HD as a compromise. This is great news for the one in three Sky homes who have already responded to the increased choice and quality offered by Sky+HD."
The new high definition channels will showcase a large and increasing range of high definition programming. ITV2, original HD programming will include the top rating entertainment shows, Britain's Got More Talent, The Xtra Factor and I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here Now!; original drama such as the third series of Secret Diary of a Call Girl; and acquired content including Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl, and a range of top movies.
ITV3 will offer most of its catalogue of recent drama in high definition, including the likes of Lewis, Marple, Above Suspicion and landmark factual series such as Joanna Lumley's Nile and Martin Clunes: Islands of Britain.
An increasing amount of ITV3's classic drama will be broadcast in high definition as ITV re-masters its extensive back catalogue. ITV4's high definition content will include premium sports events such as Tour de France and UEFA Europa League, as well as films.
ITV also announced its half-yearly results today, which showed an 18% year-on-year rise in advertising revenue, and also announced plans to launch ITV1 + 1 in the first quarter of 2011.
(KMcA)
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