Infobox TV channel
name = ITV2
logofile = ITV2 logo.png caption = Current logo; introduced 20 August 2008
logosize = 200px
logoalt =
launch = 7 December 1998
share = 1.9% (0.5% for +1)
share as of = August 2008
share source = []
owner = ITV Digital Channels Ltd (ITV plc)
picture format = 16:9, 4:3; 576i (SDTV)
former names =
sister names = ITV3
Men & Motors
timeshift names = ITV2 +1
web = []
terr serv 1 = Freeview
terr chan 1 = Channel 6
Channel 31 (+1)
sat serv 1 = Freesat
sat chan 1 = Channel 113
Channel 114 (+1)
sat serv 2 = Sky Digital
sat chan 2 = Channel 118
Channel 131 (+1)
sat serv 3 = Astra 2D
sat chan 3 = 10758V 22000 5/6
10891H 22000 5/6 (+1)
cable serv 1 = Virgin Media
cable chan 1 = Channel 114
cable serv 2 = Naxoo
cable chan 2 = Channel 218
adsl serv 1 = Tiscali TV (UK)
adsl chan 1 = Channel 12
online serv 1 =
online chan 1 = Any Page

ITV2 is a 24 hour a day free-to-air entertainment television channel in the United Kingdom owned by ITV Digital Channels Ltd, a division of ITV plc. It was launched on 7 December 1998, and is available on digital television via satellite, cable, IPTV and terrestrial (Freeview) platforms. It is also available via analogue cable television.

The term can also refer to the continuum of proposals to create a second commercial television network, from the 1950s until the idea was realised with the start of Channel 4 and S4C in 1982 (see Background).

The channel airs repeats of ITV programming at a later time such as Soap operas "Coronation Street" and "Emmerdale", imported American programming such as "Gossip Girl" and "Supernatural", Reality television Spin Off shows such as "The Xtra Factor" and "I'm a Celebrity... Get Me out of Here! Now" and original programming, with shows like "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" and "", to name but a few.

ITV2 won channel of the year at the Broadcast Digital Channel Awards 2007 on 9 June 2007, [cite news
title = ITV2 named channel of the year
publisher = Digital Spy
date = 6 June, 2007
url =
accessdate = 2007-06-07
] and on 25 August of the same year, ITV2 was named non-terrestrial channel of the year at the Edinburgh International Television Festival. [cite news
title = Non-Terrestrial Channel of the Year
publisher = Digital Spy
date = 25 June, 2007
url =
accessdate = 2006-08-25

The premiere episode of "Bionic Woman", starring British actress Michelle Ryan rated over 2.5 million viewers, ITV2's largest audience in the history of the channel and beating the record previously held by "Torchwood" on BBC Three for a non-sports digital channel. [cite news
title = BARB "Bionic Woman" ratings for ITV2
publisher = BARB
date = 1 April, 2008
url =

accessdate = 2008-04-01


The concept of there being more than one independent television service dates back to the very origins of independent television itself, where ways of allowing the composite companies of ITV to compete directly with one another side-by-side were considered. When the first broadcasts went on air in 1955 there was not enough frequency space given for use by television to allow this to happen, so each competing company was allotted a part of the country, and in the large areas a period of the week (weekdays or weekend), in which to 'compete'. This arrangement was not seen as ideal however, and the ITA continually pushed the government for the extra capacity to license a second set of franchises. [cite news
title = Yes, it's no
publisher = Russ J Graham, Transdiffusion Broadcasting System
date = 1 January, 2002
url =
accessdate = 2006-06-07

When transmissions began on UHF in the early 1960s, the GPO were afforded the task of allocating each transmitter region with a set of frequencies that would provide maximum coverage, and minimal interference; this was done in such a way that each area had four channels available for four services, one each for the existing BBC and Independent Television services (as already carried on VHF), one for the new BBC2 service, launched in 1964, and a fourth for future allocation. The ITA and ITV companies pushed for this space to be given to them, and during the 1968 round of new ITV franchises being issued, each licence included a clause that would allow the licence to be revoked and reconsidered if 'ITV2' became a reality before its ten-year expiry period, so as to 're-draw' the network with this consideration in mind. The term 'ITV2' became popular during this time, as the term 'ITV' itself grew in popularity for the commercial network which hitherto had no formal or agreed overall name. So anticipated was the creation of such a network by some, that many television sets manufactured during the '60s and '70s had buttons labelled 'ITV' and 'ITV2'.

The issue was a sensitive political point: The Labour Party of the 1950s and 1960s had been traditionally against commercial television, and many on the left of the party wanted to see ITV abolished altogether. Ideas to create a 'BBC3' using the spare capacity had been considered during the 1960s, but never acted upon - presumably due to the cost involved. The following Conservative government, despite traditionally favouring the concept of ITV and having founded it, were also slow to act in implementing the new network when they came to power in 1969. After many years of indecisiveness on the part of the various governments, moves began to be made towards the end of the 1970s on the form such a fourth service would take. By then, both major political parties roughly agreed that this new service ought to have some public service element to it, and provide content to minority groups not necessarily catered for by the BBC or ITV proper. The resultant service, Channel 4, and a variant for Wales, S4C, began in 1982. It could be said that this service was the long-awaited 'ITV2' in all but name, as it was operated and regulated by the IBA, was (then) funded by the rest of ITV, and some of its content was produced from the ITV companies; only the name was distinct.


This name was not dead, however, and the concept of 'ITV2' 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 along-side their own subscription based ONdigital platform. Other ITV licensees, SMG, UTV and GMTV launched their own services in the space (see below).

It is important to consider the distinction between ITV2 as considered between 1955 and 1982 and the ITV2 that was launched in 1998. Like ITV itself, the former would have had a regional structure comprising of many companies competing head-to-head with their counterparts in each region, whilst the latter is operated by one organisation, as a supplement service to the main network.

In June 2004, ITV plc announced that they were going to double the channel's programme budget, and would add more US series and movies.

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 launched on the same day.

ITV2 and its one-hour timeshift channel began broadcasting 24 hours a day on March 17, 2008. [cite news
title = ITV2+1 to take Men & Motors EPG slot
publisher = Digital Spy
date = March 6, 2008
url =
accessdate = 2008-03-06

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.

GMTV2 programming moved from ITV2 to ITV4. The strand continues to be simulcast on the CITV Channel.

On 20 August 2008, ITV2 was given a little rebrand, the logo was given a 3D look, with three new idents.

Defunct local variants


S2 was a television station broadcast throughout the Scottish and Grampian ITV regions by STV Group 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

By the end of its life, it had lost nearly all of its Scottish programmes and mainly simulcast ITV2, but covered the ITV2 graphic with an opaque S2 graphic. [cite news
title = S2, Readers' Wives?
publisher = 625, Dog Watch
date = 6 February, 2003
url =
accessdate = 2006-06-05
] This caused controversy and forced the broadcaster further into removing the channel.

Although S2 initially had great ambitions for the station, it closed in 2001 as part of a deal with ITV Digital. [cite news
title = S2 dropped for ITV2
publisher = Neil Wilkes, Digital Spy
date = 6 February, 2003
url =
accessdate = 2006-06-05
] The channel capacity was replaced by ITV2 and the ITV Sports Channel. When the sports channel closed, it was replaced by the now also-defunct ITV News Channel.

The Grampian and Scottish franchises operate together as STV as of present (2006).


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.

Unusually, for a commercial station, neither UTV2 nor its predecessor carried any advertising. This was presumably due to their failure to attract advertisers to a station which was only receivable to a few thousand viewers.

UTV2 closed on 22 January 2002 following a deal with ITV Digital similar to that which saw S2 replaced by ITV2 in most of Scotland.


Billie Piper's drama "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" attracted 1.8 million viewers, a record for the channel. This was later succeeded by the premiere of "Bionic Woman", 2.2 million viewers tuned in to watch the pilot episode which was the largest on any non-terrestrial channel. The viewer ratings are now just under 1 million. The heavily promoted "Gossip Girl" also had strong ratings to begin with, 520,000, but its time slot failed to attract no more than 293,000 viewers towards the end of the first episode. Another weak debut was Season 1 of "Entourage" with 168,000. However, one US programme has held onto its ratings throughout season 3, "Supernatural" still attracts over 900,000 viewers per episode making it one of the most watched programmes on ITV2.

Highest rated shows on ITV2 to date

ome programmes shown on ITV2

Former programming

* "The Black Donnellys"
* "Comedy Cuts
* "Deadline (reality TV series)"
* ""
* "Formula One"
* "Home and Away" (Now showing on Five and Fiver)
* "The Jerry Springer Show" (Now showing on Living)
* "Late Show with David Letterman"
* ""
* "The Oprah Winfrey Show"
* "Soap Fever"
* "Sunset Beach"
* "Surface"
* "UEFA Champions League Live" (Moved to ITV4)
* "WAGs Boutique"


External links


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