Television Business International

ITV to launch pay channel on Sky

UK commercial broadcaster ITV is to launch a pay TV channel on the BSkyB platform later this year.

Adam CrozierThe new service, ITV Encore, will feature ITV drama series from recent years and will, from next year, screen original commissions.

ITV has also struck a deal with Sky that will see ITV content being made available through Sky’s online and connected TV platforms Sky+ HD, Sky Go, Now TV and Sky Store.

The move marks the commercial broadcaster’s  first significant foray into pay TV since the failure of the ill-fated digital terrestrial platform ITV Digital in 2002.

“ITV’s brilliant dramas contributed to a fantastic on-screen performance last year – we had three out of the top five dramas in 2013, which helped us increase our share of viewing on the main channel for the first time in a decade,” said ITV CEO Adam Crozier (pictured).

“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, home to our long-running, classic drama series. 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.