ITV launches its new channel, ITV1 HD, on April 2nd 2010, which will broadcast ITV1’s schedule in high definition for the first time.
ITV this week reached commercial agreement with Sky and Virgin Media for carriage of the new channel. ITV1 HD will also launch on Freeview*; and Freesat, where it will move from a red button service to a standalone channel for the first time. The new deals mean that ITV1 HD will be available on all major high definition platforms ahead of this summer’s World Cup.
The ITV1 schedule will be simulcast on the new channel, with the majority of peak time content available in ‘native’ HD, including all live football, and an increasing range of drama, factual and entertainment programming. Other ITV1 content including GMTV and the daytime schedule, will be ‘upscaled’ – giving viewers a better than ever experience of the nation’s most popular commercial channel.
Upcoming highlights on ITV1 HD will include the final stages of the UEFA Champions League and The FA Cup as well as England internationals and the FIFA World Cup 2010. HD dramas include Father & Son, Law and Order: UK, Identity, The Prisoner, Foyles War and Lewis. In factual programming there’s the chance to see Joanna Lumley’s Nile, Greatest Cities of the World with Griff Rhys Jones, and the brand new Survival with Ray Mears all in pure HD. And, for HD entertainment there’s The Whole 19 Yards, 71 Degrees North, Soccer Aid and the UK’s biggest TV show, Britain’s Got Talent. ITV1’s Prime Ministerial debate will also be shown in HD.
Peter Fincham, ITV Director of Television, Channels and Online, said: “The availability of high definition content is something viewers have come to expect as standard and, as we approach the 2010 World Cup, I’m delighted that we are able to launch our new channel, ITV1 HD, on all major platforms.
“All of our output will benefit from the stunning picture quality that high definition offers, whether it’s ITV’s original drama, landmark factual shows, entertainment events or our live football.”