|Launched||7 December 1998|
|Owned by||ITV Digital Channels Ltd
|Picture format||16:9 576i (SDTV)
0.5% (+1) (June 2014 , BARB)
|Slogan||"the home of infectious entertainment"|
|Timeshift service||ITV2 +1|
Channel 27 (+1)
Channel 114 (+1)
|Channel 118 (SD/HD)
Channel 179 (+1)
Channel 207 (SD)
|Astra 1N||10758 V 22000 5/6
10891 H 22000 5/6 (+1)
|Virgin Media||Channel 115
Channel 116 (+1)
Channel 176 (HD)
|Smallworld Cable||Channel 121
Channel 171 (+1)
|UPC Ireland||Channel 130|
|itv.com||Watch live (UK only)|
|ITV Player||Catch-up (UK only)|
|Virgin TV Anywhere||Watch live (UK only)|
|UPC Horizon||Watch live (Ireland only)|
|Sky Go||Watch live
(UK and Ireland only)
ITV2 is a 24 hour, free-to-air entertainment television channel in the United Kingdom, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands owned by ITV Digital Channels Ltd, a division of ITV plc. It was launched on 7 December 1998 and is available digitally via satellite, cable, IPTV and terrestrial (Freeview) platforms. For a number of years, it had the largest audience share after the five analogue terrestrial stations, a claim now held by its sister service ITV3 both of which are freely available to a majority of households.
The channel is known for American programming such as Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries; repeats of recently aired episodes of soap operas and other entertainment programming from ITV such as Coronation Street and Emmerdale; spin-off shows such as I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! NOW!, The Xtra Factor and Britain's Got More Talent, and original programming such as Celebrity Juice and The Only Way Is Essex.
Prior to the launch of Channel 4 in 1982, the name "ITV2" had sometimes been used to refer informally to an envisioned second commercial network in the UK. However, the name resurfaced in the late 1990s for very different reasons. The launch of digital terrestrial television services in the UK saw each existing analogue terrestrial broadcaster given a slice of bandwidth with which to carry their existing service after analogue switch-off with space left over for new channels. Whilst strictly speaking this space belonged to each regional contractor for use within their own region, ITV had undergone a series of buy-outs earlier on in the decade, the three players operating the majority of the network, Granada, Carlton and United News & Media jointly launched ITV2 in 1998 to be broadcast to most of the country as a uniform service. Whilst free-to-air, it was marketed alongside their own subscription based ONdigital platform. Other ITV licensees, SMG, UTV and GMTV launched their own services in the space (see below).
While ITV2 is now a popular entertainment channel, at its launch in 1998 it was a mixed genre channel. Much of the original content in its launch schedule was current affairs related programming fronted by ITV newscasters. Katie Derham presented a weekly media programme called Wide Angle, John Suchet fronted a weekly current affairs discussion programme called Who, What, Why, and Trevor McDonald presented an interview series, Trevor McDonald Meets.... Other programmes included omnibus editions of ITV soaps Emmerdale and Coronation Street, and a Saturday football results service.
In June 2004, ITV plc announced that they were going to double the channel's programme budget, and would add more U.S. series and movies. On 1 November 2004, in an attempt to launch ITV3 on Sky, ITV2 moved from 175 to 118 on Sky after ITV plc bought GSkyB for £10 million. As a result, Plus was permanently closed down, with its EPG slot taken by ITV3.
ITV plc launched a one hour timeshift channel of ITV2 on Monday, 30 October 2006. The company is looking to its digital channels to shore up revenues as the ITV Network suffers a decline in viewers. ITV3 +1 was launched on the same day.
ITV2 and its one-hour timeshift channel began broadcasting 24 hours a day on 17 March 2008.
From 11 January 2011, ITV2 +1 on the Freeview platform has changed its broadcasting hours to 7:00 p.m. until 4:00 a.m. On 1 June 2011, an additional hour was added in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, allowing ITV2 +1 to start at 6:00 p.m. On 2 August 2011, ITV2 +1 began to broadcast 24 hours a day on Freeview across the UK, using an eleventh stream created on mux A.
As part of the changes, ITV2 +1 swapped slots on Sky's electronic programme guide with Men & Motors, resulting in the timeshift channel making a significant jump from channel 184 to 131. It is now Sky 179.
GMTV2 programming moved from ITV2 to ITV4. The strand continues to be simulcast on the CITV channel.
On 20 August 2008, ITV2 unveiled a new look, the logo was given a 3D look, with three new idents.
ITV2 was launched on UPC Ireland in the Republic of Ireland on 4 January 2010, marking the first time the channel has been officially available in the country. The channel had already been (and remains) available to Irish viewers on free-to-air satellite for some time, however it is still not listed in the Sky electronic programme guide. On 1 April 2011, ITV2 was removed from UPC Ireland along with ITV3 and ITV4 due to the expiry of a carriage agreement between UPC and ITV. UPC Ireland claim that ITV is not in a position to renegotiate the deal because ITV had struck a deal with another channel provider to provide it with exclusive rights to air certain content from the channels. Conversely, UPC Ireland also claims to have been in discussions right up to the last moment in order to continue broadcasting the channels. ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 were restored to the UPC Ireland line-up on 20 December 2011. TV3 and its sister channel 3e already hold carriage agreement to air certain ITV content within the Republic of Ireland, alternatively UTV is available within the Republic. ITV2 is available along with ITV3 and ITV4 within Switzerland, all three channels are available on SwisscomTV and UPC Cablecom.
Most watched programmes
The following is a list of the five most watched shows on ITV2, based on Live +7 data supplied by BARB up to 19 February 2012. The number of viewers does not include repeats or airings on ITV2 +1. Only the highest rated episode of a particular programme is listed.
|Rank||Show||Episode||Number of Viewers||Date|
|1||Celebrity Juice||7.01 - Starring Phillip Schofield||2,738,000||9 February 2012|
|2||Bionic Woman||1.01 - Pilot||2,553,000||11 March 2008|
|3||The Xtra Factor||7.30 - Final||2,536,000||12 December 2010|
|4||Britain's Got More Talent||3.13 - Final||2,525,000||30 May 2009|
|5||I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! NOW!||10.21 - Final||2,131,000||4 December 2010|
ITV2 won Channel of the Year at the Broadcast Digital Awards in 2007 and again in 2013. It was also named Non-Terrestrial Channel of the Year at the Edinburgh International Television Festival in 2007.
ITV2 +1 launched 30 October 2006 along with ITV3 +1 it was allocated channel number 211 on Sky, on 6 May 2008 it was announced that ITV2 +1 would swapped with Men & Motors on the Sky EPG making a jump from 184 to 131. This channel is often unable to broadcast certain programmes "for legal reasons", but the programme in question might still be listed on the EPG. Currently, ITV2+1 currently resides on Sky channel 179.
ITV2 HD, a high-definition simulcast of ITV2, launched on 7 October 2010 on Sky channel 225. The channel was initially available through Sky's pay subscription service in a non-exclusive deal, before being added to Virgin Media's service on 14 March 2013. Original HD programming includes entertainment shows, Britain's Got More Talent, The Xtra Factor and I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! NOW!; original drama such as the third and fourth series of Secret Diary of a Call Girl; and acquired content including The Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl and a range of movies.
Other local variants
S2 was a television station broadcast throughout the Scottish and Grampian ITV regions by SMG plc, the holder of the Scottish and Grampian region ITV franchises. S2, which aired on the digital terrestrial platform, was launched 30 April 1999 and closed just over two years later — as part of a deal with ITV Digital — on 27 July 2001.
UTV2 was a television station broadcast by UTV Media plc on Digital Terrestrial Television in Northern Ireland. It was launched in 1999 as TV You. The programming consisted primarily of simulcasts with the ITV2 station shown in England, Wales and the Scottish Borders, although they did also use archive broadcasts from UTV. UTV2 closed on 22 January 2002 following a deal with ITV Digital and was replaced by the national variant.
When the channel launched, the logo was very similar in style to the ITV logo at the time and ITV were worried the channel looked just like an extension of ITV and didn't offer anything new. It was soon after this that the channel received a complete overhaul along with the other ITV channels in 2006. The channel received a new lime green logo, chosen as ITV thought it had a young fresh feel to it. The channel also received six new idents which all had names beginning with 'Too' to relate to the 2 in the channels name. They were called; "Too Fast", "Too Hot", "Too Cold, "Too Expensive", "Too Glamorous" and "Too Loud". Each of the idents were made up of a mix of shades of green to match the channels logo.
In 2008, the channel received another new look. The green logo was kept but edited. The channel now had a new 3D logo to try and make the channel look more modern and appealing to a younger audience.
During Newcastle United's run in the 2004–05 UEFA Cup, the channel was rebranded as ITV Toon on matchdays, referring to the club's nickname the Toon. The channel's yellow and blue idents changed to black and white, to match the club's colours.
In line with the corporate rebranding of ITV, ITV2 received a new look on 14 January 2013. The channel's slogan became "the home of infectious entertainment", and received a "hot red" version of the logo and red on-screen identity including new idents.
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