ITV have announced a brand new pay channel, ITV Encore, due to be launched this year on Sky.
ITV Encore will air the best of ITV’s British drama – the official announcement says “the new channel will be home to some of ITV’s most successful drama series of recent years. From 2015, it will also screen original commissions with the ITV hallmark of high quality production values, big name lead actors and compelling narratives penned by some of the UK’s best writers”.
ITV content will also now be made available through Sky’s range of connected products – Sky+HD, Sky Go, NOW TV and Sky Store. Carriage renewals have also been announced for ITV2, ITV4, ITV4 and ITV’s catchup & on demand services on the Sky+HD platform.
ITV Chief Executive Adam Crozier has said “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”.
Although the new channel is advertised as a “pay channel” this will likely just mean you’ll need to be a Sky customer (i.e. not free-to-view or free-to-air), and not have to pay a subscription for the channel itself.