ITV is to launch its first new channel in eight years on Sky.
The new satellite channel ITV Encore will be available on the Sky platform and will showcase the broadcasters’s British drama output.
While showing old favourites from recent years, the channel will also screen original commissions as well. ITV said there would be star names and shows penned by top writers but did not say whom.
The new channel starts this year with original drama broadcast on the channel pencilled in for 2015.
“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,” said Adam Crozier, chief executive of ITV. “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.”
The new channel comes as part of a wider partnership 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.
ITV is also launching 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. The broadcaster has also renewed 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.
The deal will also see the availability of ITV content on a rental basis in Sky Store.
Image: ITV Studios