ITV to launch Asian entertainment channel

ITV is looking to extend its global footprint with the launch of an entertainment channel in Asia. The pan-regional channel will be based around Granada International’s UKTV channel, which is distributed in the Middle East.

It is launching a preview channel for pay-TV operators later this week and a full service will be launhced later in the year. It will not use the UKTV name although a new brand has yet to be decided. The move underlines ITV’s strategy to grow its ITV Worldwide revenues.

The programming will be sourced from ITV, with dramas such as Prime Suspect and Murder City, as well as reality and talk shows including The Friday Night Project and The Jeremy Kyle Show.

Peter Iacono, ITV Worldwide president and managing director, says Asia presents “very exciting” opportunities for the broadcaster. ITV Worldwide says it wants to create a brand “synonymous with quality entertainment television”.

ITV Worldwide is ITV’s international distribution arm, which merged earlier this year with the Granada International and Granada Ventures businesses.

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