The entirely advertising and sponsorship-funded channel will feature lifestyle and reality shows from the UK and US.
The broadcaster is looking to tempt viewers by making the channel the only place the popular ‘The Only Way is Essex’ can be seen.
The launch of ITVBe is part of the broadcaster’s plans to segment audiences to boost revenue from advertising and other means. It recently launched its first pay-TV channel ITV Encore. Advertising revenue grew 11 per cent in its latest quarter.
Adam Crozier, chief executive of ITV, says: “ITVBe will be a terrific new addition to our family of channels. It reinforces our plan to maximise audiences and revenues from our broadcasting business.
“Alongside 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.”
In a statement, the broadcaster was keen to stress the channel will “complement” youth channel and the current home of ‘The Only Way is Essex’ ITV2, which will now focus on scripted series and panel shows.
No launch date has been set but the broadcaster says it will launch “towards the end of the year”. It will be available free on all major broadcasting platforms.