ITV launches first pay-TV channel

ITV is launching its first pay-TV channel to bolster its multi-year strategy of growing revenues outside of traditional advertising.

ITV to launch its first new channel in eight years: ITV Encore.

ITV Encore, the broadcaster’s first new channel launch in more than eight years, will be available on Sky TV platforms, which also include its connected services such as Sky Go, Sky+ HD, Sky Store and Now TV.

The channel will complement ITV3 by housing British drama series and from 2015 the channel will also screen original commissions.

ITV Encore’s launch forms part of a wider “mutually beneficial” four year partnership with Sky – ITV’s biggest ever with a platform operator. It also includes the launch of ITV catch-up, archive video on demand and simulcast of ITV channels on Sky Go and Now TV, the availability of ITV content to rent via the Sky Store and the renewal of the carriage deal for ITV, 2, 3 and 4 HD and catch-up on the Sky+ HD platform.

Adam Crozier, ITV chief executive, says: “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.

“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…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.”

Shortly after joining the company in 2010, Adam Crozier set out his five-year transformation strategy in which the broadcaster targeted making 50 per cent of its revenue from non-traditional advertising means.

Non-advertising revenue grew 11 per cent year on year to £810m in the nine months to 30 September 2013, 48.7 per cent of the total revenue it generated in the period. 

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