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ITV2 logo 2015.svg
Launched7 December 1998; 20 years ago (1998-12-07)
Owned byITV Digital Channels
(ITV plc)
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
Audience share3.39%
0.40% (+1)
(June 2019 (2019-06), BARB)
SloganTV. And then some.
CountryUnited Kingdom
Sister channel(s)ITV
ITV Box Office
Timeshift serviceITV2 +1
FreeviewChannel 6
Channel 27 (+1)
FreesatChannel 113
Channel 114 (+1)
(UK only)
Channel 118 (HD)
Channel 218 (+1)
Channel 816 (SD)
Astra 2E (28.2°E)10758 V 22000 5/6
10891 H 22000 5/6 (+1)
Astra 2G (28.2°E)11053 H 23000 3/4 (HD)
Virgin Media (UK)Channel 115
Channel 116 (+1)
Channel 176 (HD)
Channel 218
UPC SwitzerlandChannel 160/176
WightFibreChannel 6
Channel arbitrary
Streaming media
ITV HubWatch live (UK only)
TVPlayerWatch live (UK only)
Virgin TV AnywhereWatch live (UK only)
Sky GoWatch live
(UK only)

ITV2 is a British free-to-air television channel owned by ITV Digital Channels, a division of ITV plc.[1] It was launched on 7 December 1998. 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[2] 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: Extra Camp, and original programming such as Celebrity Juice and Love Island.


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....[3] Other programmes included Midsomer Murders, Inspector Morse, Judge Judy, omnibus editions of ITV soaps Emmerdale and Coronation Street, and a Saturday football results service.[4]

In June 2004, ITV plc announced that they were going to double the channel's programme budget, and would add more American 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.[5]

From 11 January 2011, ITV2 +1 on the Freeview platform has changed its broadcasting hours to until On 1 June 2011, an additional hour was added in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, allowing ITV2 +1 to start at 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 218.

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.[6] 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 to continue broadcasting the channels.[7] 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.[8]

ITV2 was made available on Freeview in the Channel Islands on 29 February 2012, a few months after ITV plc bought Channel Television from Yattendon Group plc.[9]

Most watched programmes

The following is a list of the six most watched shows on ITV2, based on Live +28 data supplied by BARB up to 10 January 2019.[10]

Rank Show Episode Viewers
1 Love Island 5.01 5.90 3 June 2019
2 5.03 5.74 5 June 2019
3 5.05 5.69 7 June 2019
4 5.02 5.60 4 June 2019
5 5.04 5.55 6 June 2019
6 5.06 5.44 9 June 2019


ITV2 won Channel of the Year at the Broadcast Digital Awards in 2007[11] and again in 2013.[12] It was also named Non-Terrestrial Channel of the Year at the Edinburgh International Television Festival in 2007.[13]

Subsidiary channels

ITV2 +1

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 swap with Men & Motors on the Sky EPG making a jump from 184 to 131.[14][15][16] This channel is often unable to broadcast certain programmes "for legal reasons", but the programme in question might still be listed on the EPG. ITV2+1 currently resides on Sky channel 218.

ITV2+1 is also available on Freeview (including YouView, BT TV & TalkTalk TV) channel 27; Virgin Channel 116


ITV2 HD, a high-definition simulcast of ITV2, launched on 7 October 2010 on Sky channel 225.[17][18] The channel was initially available through Sky's pay subscription service in a non-exclusive deal,[19][20] before being added to Virgin Media's service on 14 March 2013.[21] Original HD programming includes entertainment shows, Britain's Got More Talent, The Xtra Factor and I'm a Celebrity: Extra Camp; 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.

Former 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.

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.[22]


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 channel's 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 channel's 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 to 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.[23]

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.[24]

ITV2 presentation was given a refresh on 12 August 2015, with new branding, idents, the introduction of gif style bite-sized promos, and a re-boot of the channel's social feeds, spanning YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram along with the launch of new ITV2 channels on Snapchat and Tumblr. As part of the refresh, the logo kept its previous state but was changed colour from hot red to turquoise.[25]


On-air identity


  1. ^ "Annual Statement on Participation TV" (PDF). Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ "Viewing summary".
  3. ^ "WHO WHAT WHY: ITV2 | Archive Footage". ITN Source. 15 September 1999. Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ Patterson, Mark (17 December 1998). "MEDIA CHOICE: ITV2". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 2013.
  5. ^ "ITV2+1 to take Men & Motors EPG slot". Digital Spy. 6 March 2008. Retrieved 2008.
  6. ^ "Bad news for fans of Poirot: UPC is losing ITV2, 3 and 4". Business ETC. 31 March 2011.
  7. ^ "ITV2, ITV3, & ITV4 channels are no longer available". UPC Ireland. 1 April 2011. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012.
  8. ^ "Channels - Digital TV". UPC Cablecom. Retrieved 2013.
  9. ^ "ITV2 & 3 available from midday". 29 February 2012. Retrieved 2013.
  10. ^ BARB, via [1] Archived 18 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Oatts, Joanne (7 June 2007). "ITV2 named channel of the year". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2007.
  12. ^ Kanter, Jake (3 July 2013). "ITV2 wins Channel of the Year". Broadcast. Retrieved 2013.
  13. ^ Wilkes, Neil (25 August 2007). "BBC One named Channel of the Year". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2007.
  14. ^ Shelley, Darren (10 October 2006). "Timeshifts planned for ITV2, ITV3". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2013.
  15. ^ Oatts, Joanne (25 October 2006). "Updated: ITV launches +1 channels". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2013.
  16. ^ Welsh, James (6 March 2008). "ITV2+1 to take Men & Motors EPG slot". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2013.
  17. ^ "ITV plc 2010 Interim Results & Sky deal". ITV plc. 3 August 2010. Archived from the original on 12 July 2014.
  18. ^ "ITV2 HD sets launch date on Sky". Digital Spy. 29 September 2010.
  19. ^ Sweney, Mark (2 March 2011). "ITV earmarks £12m to hire new talent to break international hit drought". The Guardian. London.
  20. ^ Sweney, Mark (3 August 2010). "ITV unveils pay-TV push". The Guardian. London.
  21. ^ "Virgin Media introduces HDelightful ITV channels". 14 March 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  22. ^ "S2, Readers' Wives?". 625, Dog Watch. 6 February 2003. Retrieved 2006.
  23. ^ "ITV grabs Northern Rock for Newcastle Uefa matches". MediaWeek. 2 November 2004. Retrieved 2012.
  24. ^ Laughlin, Andrew (16 November 2012). "ITV1 to become 'ITV' in major corporate rebrand". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2012.
  25. ^ "New ITV2 branding launches". ITV Press Centre. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 2015.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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