|Launched||1 November 2004|
|Owned by||ITV Digital Channels Ltd
|Picture format||16:9 576i (SDTV)
0.3% (+1) (June 2014 , BARB)
|Slogan||"The keeper of ITV's treasured and timeless drama"|
|Timeshift service||ITV3 +1|
Channel 34 (+1)
Channel 116 (+1)
|Channel 119 (SD/HD)
Channel 180 (+1)
Channel 208 (SD)
|Astra 1N||10906 V 22000 5/6
10906 V 22000 5/6 (+1)
|Virgin Media||Channel 117
Channel 174 (+1)
Channel 177 (HD)
|Smallworld Cable||Channel 122|
|UPC Ireland||Channel 131|
|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)
ITV3 is an entertainment television channel in the United Kingdom that is owned by ITV Digital Channels Ltd, a division of ITV plc. The channel was launched on 1 November 2004. ITV3 is the sixth largest UK television channel by audience share and the largest after the five main terrestrial services, the position which was previously held by its sister station ITV2.
The channel had been available from launch on UPC Ireland, but was pulled on 22 March 2006. This is believed to have been at the request of ITV plc, which had previously barred Irish newspapers from publishing details of ITV channels and regions other than UTV and Men & Motors. The channel had already been (and remains) available to Irish viewers on free-to-air satellite for some time, however it has not been listed in the Sky electronic programme guide since its removal on 25 January 2006. ITV3 returned to UPC Ireland in the Republic of Ireland on 4 January 2010.
On 1 April 2011, ITV3 was removed from UPC Ireland along with ITV2 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.
Originally, speculation was rife over whether it would be launched on the Digital Satellite platform immediately. On 1 November 2004, ITV took full control of Granada Sky Broadcasting, and ceased broadcasting the Granada Plus channel. ITV3 took its channel number and bandwidth meaning all platforms could be launched simultaneously. Staff at Granada Plus were given 15 minutes' notice. On satellite, it is available as a free-to-air channel, and as such does not require an active Sky subscription.
As Freeview announced plans for a retune on 30 September 2009, ITV3 moved to an alternative multiplex. Viewers in areas that have completed switchover who receive their signal from a local relay transmitter and receive 'Freeview Lite', are no longer be able to receive ITV3.
ITV launched a one hour timeshift channel of ITV3 on Monday 30 October 2006, it was allocated channel number 213 on Sky. ITV2 +1 was launched on the same day. This channel is often unable to broadcast certain programmes "for legal reasons", but the programme in question might still be listed on the EPG. The channel launched on Freeview on 15 October 2013 using downtime from ITV-owned shopping channel The Store. Initially on Freeview, ITV3 +1 broadcast from 01:00 till 06:00 - these hours were extended and brought forward in February 2014, now airing from 18:00 till 00:00 in the higher EPG slot of channel 34.
A high-definition simulcast of ITV3, ITV3 HD, was launched on 15 November 2010 on Sky. 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. ITV3 HD offers most of the ITV3 catalogue of recent drama in high definition, including the likes of Lewis and Agatha Christie's Marple and factual series such as Joanna Lumley's Nile and Martin Clunes' Islands of Britain. An increasing amount of ITV3’s classic drama will be broadcast in high definition as ITV re-masters its extensive back-catalogue.
In line with the corporate rebranding of ITV, ITV3 received a new look on 14 January 2013. The channel was positioned as the "keeper of ITV's treasured and timeless drama", with a new "midnight blue" logo and idents that feature stories told in shadow-puppet style animation inside glass bell jars.
Viewership and programming
The channel is mainly aimed at the over-35 audience, and much of its output consists of reruns of older ITV drama series and sitcoms. The company are hoping to use it, and extra investment into its ITV2 channel, to triple non-terrestrial revenue within five years and this has led to the network purchasing the exclusive terrestrial television rights to a number of newer and in some cases popular US drama series, such as NUMB3RS and more recently Law & Order: Trial by Jury.
During the 2007 Rugby World Cup, ITV3 broadcast some of the matches while ITV and ITV4 were showing live European football matches which were being played at the same time and in the days when ITV4 was an evenings only service, ITV3 broadcast live weekend coverage of the Tour de France.
Crime Thriller Awards
The ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards were first held on 3 October 2008, and were broadcast on ITV3 three days later. ITV3 controller Emma Tennant devised the awards to "cement ITV3's reputation as the home of great storytelling and, in particular, great crime thrillers". In 2009, the awards were merged with the Crime Writers' Association Daggers.
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