ITV is to close the CITV broadcast channel and will move all its kids content to a new dedicated destination on ITVX – ITVX Kids.
ITVX Kids will house both school age and pre-school age children’s shows.
ITV will however maintain the LittleBe pre-school segment on ITVBe and will offer some children’s content in the early mornings on ITV2 from September with strong cross promotion to ITVX.
Launching in July 2023, and rolling out across the school summer holiday period, the new consolidated children’s offering will see ITV taking its approach to 6-12s content, streaming-only, from early Autumn 2023.
ITV cites BARB viewing data showing that while the average amount of broadcast TV minutes of kids TV channels watched by 4-15 year olds per week has declined by -62% since 2019, “unmatched” viewing has risen by +30% in the same period, “demonstrating the streaming first trend in kids viewing.”
The Kids ITVX homepage, accessed within a child-safe ITVX Kids profile, will bring together over 100 titles in a dedicated homepage, with over 1000 hours of programming with curated rails and collections.
The curated collections will feature a wide range of titles, including brand new programmes dropping monthly on the service, from July 2023. This new content will span a wide-range of genres and subjects including comedy, gameshows, live action, animation and sport and sourced from a broad spectrum of distributors from small Independents as well as regional UK suppliers.
Craig Morris, Managing Editor of ITVX said: “We’re really excited to launch this dedicated destination for kids on ITVX, which will be home to a wealth of content including new series, recognisable brands and existing favourites for a range of ages, all in one child-safe area, with editorial curation to guide viewing. The wealth of content will be available to stream for free, with the option for parents to choose ad free viewing, through a subscription to ITVX Premium.”
The new shows will complement existing favourites, including Lloyd of the Flies, Lily’s Driftwood Bay, Claude, Mumfie, Mystery Lane and The Rubbish World of Dave Spud, which will also be available on ITVX Kids.
Brand new episodes of The Rubbish World of Dave Spud are commissioned for broadcast in 2024 and they will be premiered on ITVX.
ITVX Kids will also have some much-loved British brands, including the animated series of Mr Bean, and for younger pre-school children, TeleTubbies Let’s Go, Sooty and Bob The Builder amongst other titles.
Commissions that ITV was able to greenlight, thanks to funding from the BFI Young Audiences Content Fund which ran until 2022, will also appear on ITVX Kids. These include sustainable arts and craft series Makeaway Takeaway, science and history show HOW, The Sound Collector an animated series narrated by Keira Knightley, about a little boy who has a passion for sound despite being hard of hearing and Happy The Hoglet – which helps pre-schoolers navigate “those big emotional rollercoasters that comes with being young.”
The ambition is for 100% of content to be subtitled on ITVX Kids, with around 20% of the content on ITVX Kids audio described, and the offering will also include British Sign Language original programming such as Mission Employable and Daremaster, produced by Signpost productions.
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