ITV digital channel aims at young male viewers

ITV is to target a younger, male audience with its second channel ITV2, the digital station scheduled to launch at the end of the year.

Brian Barwick, ITV2’s director of programmes, outlined the channel’s programme needs at a presentation to ITV companies and independent producers yesterday (Tuesday).

The channel will show repeats of ITV programmes and only 30 per cent of the schedule will be original commissions. However, Barwick says the repeats will enable viewers, particularly light viewers and busy people, to “catch up” on missed shows – that it will not be retro programming.

ITV2 will not transmit for 24 hours a day to begin with, but Barwick says, it aims to operate at all hours “eventually”.

According to Andrew Chowns, ITV2 project director, the channel will broadcast more “experimental” programming to nurture the stars and formats of the future as it will be “outside the fierce heat of the main channel ratings war”.

He says it will broadcast sports such as golf, basketball and snow boarding.

Barwick outlined the type of shows he is looking to commission, which include: an hour-long – possibly live – teenage magazine chat show to run five days a week throughout the year; a late-night half-hour weekly review of the soap operas; a weekly peaktime pop review show; an interactive sports magazine programme; and a football game show.

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