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ITV has confirmed it will be launching ITV Encore later this year, a new pay channel dedicated to the best of the broadcaster’s content.
ITV Encore, which will be available on Sky’s platforms, will be ITV’s first new channel launch in eight years and forms part of a wider four year partnership with Sky.
The new channel will be home to some of ITV’s most successful drama series of recent years. From 2015, it will also screen original commissions with the ITV hallmark of high quality production values, big name lead actors and compelling narratives penned by some of the UK’s best writers.
In addition, as part of the wider deal with Sky, ITV content will be made available through Sky’s range of connected platforms including Sky+HD, Sky Go, NOW TV and Sky Store.
Adam Crozier, ITV Chief Executive, said: “A key part of our strategy is to become the most watched, most loved and most talked about family of free and pay channels for every household and every advertiser in the UK. ITV’s brilliant dramas contributed to a fantastic on-screen performance last year – we had three out of the top five dramas in 2013, which helped us increase our share of viewing on the main channel for the first time in a decade.”
“The time is absolutely right to build on our successful partnership with Sky with the launch of ITV Encore, which will be an important part of ITV’s family of channels, and will complement ITV3, home to our long-running, classic drama series. ITV Encore is right in line with our strategy of growing non advertising revenues while at the same time creating even greater opportunities to showcase new drama.”
Jeremy Darroch, Sky Chief Executive, said: “Our customers love great drama and so we are delighted to bring them exclusive access to a new channel from one of the best loved brands in TV. The wider availability of ITV programmes on our fast-growing connected TV services, including Sky Go, Sky Store and NOW TV, will make Sky stand out as a great place to enjoy ITV, on multiple devices, both at home and on the go. This is good news for Sky customers and a positive way for us to work with ITV in a broad, mutually-beneficial partnership.”
In addition to being available on Sky’s satellite platform, ITV Encore will also be available on NOW TV, Sky’s Internet TV service. The wider deal with Sky includes:
· launch of ITV catch up and archive VoD and simulcast of ITV channels on Sky Go, together with launch of ITV Player on the NOW TV box
· renewal of the carriage deal for ITV 2, 3 and 4 HD and ITV catch up and archive VoD on the Sky+ HD platform, including an extended range of high quality TV box sets
· availability of ITV content on a rental basis in Sky Store