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ITV plans to launch channels in HD

ITV has confirmed plans for a pay-TV strategy to launch high-definition versions of its digital channels on Sky.

The broadcaster said ITV2 HD, ITV3 HD, and ITV4 HD will launch as part of Sky+HD's subscription package of channels this autumn.

ITV2 HD will launch in October for the start of The Xtra Factor, with ITV3 HD and ITV4 HD launching shortly afterwards.

Adam Crozier, chief executive of ITV, said: "I'm delighted to announce ITV's move into pay television today with this deal with Sky.

"We will launch our highly successful family of digital channels - ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 - in high definition for the very first time as part of the Sky+HD subscription.

"Building new revenue streams by exploiting our content across multiple platforms is a key part of the ITV Transformation Plan announced today. Pay television has seen continual growth over the last decade and this deal is a great example of how a new, subscription-based launch can complement ITV's existing free-to-air channels."

ITV also announced an improved financial performance as it returned to the black with pre-tax profits of £97 million for the six months to June 30.

The television advertising market suffered its worst year on record last year but has since shown signs of recovery, helped by World Cup spending.

ITV said net advertising revenues rose 18% in the first half of 2010, compared with a rise of 15% for the wider market.

It expects the figure to rise by 15% in the current quarter, but the outlook for the fourth quarter and into 2011 remains uncertain.


From Belfast Telegraph