UK commercial broadcaster ITV is to expand its free-to-air family of channels with the launch of ITVBe, featuring lifestyle and reality programming from the UK and the US. From launch, ITVBe will become the exclusive home of ITV’s award winning series, The Only Way is Essex.
The new channel which is aimed at a younger, female audience will launch towards the end of 2014 and will be wholly funded by advertising and sponsorship. It will be available free on all major broadcasting platforms, including Freeview, Sky and Virgin.
ITVBe will complement ITV2, which will continue to strengthen its position as the home of entertainment for 16-34 year olds, focusing on scripted series, panel shows and formats, and commissions and acquisitions skewed towards the youth audience.
Adam Crozier, Chief Executive of ITV, said the new channel would be a “terrific” new addition to its family of channels. “It reinforces our plan to maximise audiences and revenues from our broadcasting business. Alongside our recently announced new pay channel ITV Encore, this is another important step forward in our strategy 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.”