Following last month’s news that ITV is going to launch its remaining 3 channels of ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 in crisp high-definition on the Sky satellite TV subscription platform, the date of the first HD broadcast has now been confirmed: Sky+ HD subscribers will be able to tune in to the ITV2 HD channel from the 7th of October. Although the launch dates for ITV3 HD and ITV4 HD remain unknown at this moment, ITV hinted that they will definitely be up and running by year-end.
Here’s the preliminary run of programmes on the ITV2 HD channel for the first couple of days following launch:
Thursday, 7 October 2010
- 8pm The Vampire Diaries
- 8.45pm Coronation Street
- 11.20pm [MOVIE] Van Helsing (2004)
Friday, 8 October 2010
- 6am Coronation Street
- 12pm Coronation Street
- 5.50pm The X Factor (rerun of last week’s episode)
- 7.45pm The X Factor
- 9pm [MOVIE] The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
- 11.10pm [MOVIE] Out of Sight (1998)
Signing an agreement with British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) to put ITV2 HD, ITV3 HD and ITV4 HD on the Sky subscription service marks ITV’s reentry into the Pay TV arena, having previously failed with its ONdigital/ ITV Digital venture. ITV chief executive Adam Crozier deemed this move as crucial to the company’s future, as it seeks to adapt its business model to leverage off internet-enabled TVs and subscription-based TV services which have seen healthy growth in recent times. He said that this deal with Sky fitted perfectly with a 5-year strategic plan that he had outlined to develop new revenue streams, and cut down reliance on income from traditional TV commercials.
While ITV is approaching other TV network providers like the cable-based Virgin Media to broadcast its ITV2 HD, ITV3 HD and ITV4 HD channels, its arrangement with Sky is exclusive among satellite TV providers. This means that these channels will not be available on the Freesat free-to-air satellite TV platform which, ironically enough, was launched and funded in part by ITV itself.