ITV is to launch a new free-to-air channel, ITVBe.
Aimed at a young female audience, ITVBe will feature “the best of lifestyle and reality programming from the UK and the US” and is to become the exclusive new home of ITV2 reality hit The Only Way is Essex.
As well as featuring a number of new home-grown lifestyle shows, it is understood ITVBe will also offer US acquisitions, including Real Housewives, which currently broadcasts in the daytime on ITV2.
ITVBe will launch as a wholly ad and sponsorship funded channel in the second half of 2014 and will be available on all major platforms including Freeview, Sky and Virgin.
ITV says that ITVBe will complement ITV2 and “strengthen its position as the home of unashamed entertainment for 16-34 year olds.”
Adam Crozier, Chief Executive of ITV, said: “ITVBe will be a terrific new addition to our family of channels. It reinforces our plan to maximise audiences and revenues from our broadcasting business. Alongside our recently announced new pay channel ITV Encore, this is another important step forward in our strategy to become the most watched, most loved and most talked about family of free and pay channels for every household and every advertiser in the UK.”