Last updated

ITV2 logo 2015.svg
CountryUnited Kingdom
Network ITV
Picture format 1080i HDTV
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
Timeshift serviceITV2 +1
Owner ITV Digital Channels
(ITV plc)
Sister channels ITV
Launched7 December 1998;22 years ago (1998-12-07)
Freeview Channel 6
Channel 28 (+1)
Virgin Media (UK)Channel 115
Channel 116 (+1)
Channel 176 (HD)
UPC Switzerland Channel 206
Channel 406
WightFibre Channel 6
Freesat Channel 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)
Channel arbitrary
Channel 115
Streaming media
ITV Hub Watch live (UK only)
TVPlayer Watch live (UK only)
Sky Go Watch live (UK only)
Virgin TV Go Watch 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 primarily aimed at the 16-34 age group, just like BBC Three and E4 and is known for American programming such as Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries , with adult animated shows Family Guy, American Dad! and Bob’s Burgers, repeats of recently aired episodes of soap operas and other entertainment programming from ITV such as Coronation Street and Emmerdale ; 60-second entertainment news bulletin FYI Daily , which airs in-between films; 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 7:00 pm until 4:00 am On 1 June 2011, an additional hour was added in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, allowing ITV2 +1 to start at 6:00 pm 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 six 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 is registered to broadcast within the European Union/EEA through ALIA in Luxembourg. [9] [10]

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. [11]

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. [12]

1 Love Island 5.015.903 June 2019
25.035.745 June 2019
35.055.697 June 2019
45.025.604 June 2019
55.045.556 June 2019
65.065.449 June 2019


ITV2 won Channel of the Year at the Broadcast Digital Awards in 2007 [13] and again in 2013. [14] It was also named Non-Terrestrial Channel of the Year at the Edinburgh International Television Festival in 2007. [15]


In 2014, the channel was subject to a controversy about one of its shows. Dapper Laughs: On The Pull was created by Vine comedian Daniel O'Reilly. The show was criticized for promoting violence against women [16] and dubbed by one paper as "a rapist's almanac". Due to these criticisms, an online petition for the show's cancellation reaching 68,210 signatures [17] and a sexist joke glorifying rape said by O'Reilly during one of his live shows, [18] ITV chose not to commission a second series. A subsequent live tour was also cancelled. [19] [20] In the wake of the scandal, Stewart Lee criticized the host's Newsnight apology and said "what kind of person gets banned from ITV2? That's like being banned from a pub that's on fire."

In a 2009 episode of Screenwipe, Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker criticized the channel's programming for being nihilistic and called it "a monument to cultural death" and "frighteningly meaningless." [21]

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. [22] [23] [24] 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, and is also available on Freeview channel 28, Freesat channel 114 and Virgin TV channel 116.


ITV2 HD, a high-definition simulcast of ITV2, launched on 7 October 2010 on Sky channel 225. [25] [26] The channel was initially available through Sky's pay subscription service in a non-exclusive deal, [27] [28] before being added to Virgin Media's service on 14 March 2013. [29] 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. [30]


UTV2 was a television station broadcast by Ulster Television 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. [31]

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. [32]

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. [33]


Current programming

Former programmes

This list is incomplete.

On-air identity

Related Research Articles

ITV (TV channel) British free-to-air television channel

ITV is a British free-to-air television channel owned and operated by ITV plc. It provides the Channel 3 service across the country except in the central and northern areas of Scotland where STV holds the licences.

Virgin Media One Irish television station

Virgin Media One, also called Virgin One, is an Irish free-to-air television channel owned by Virgin Media Ireland, operated through its subsidiary Virgin Media Television. The channel was launched as TV3 on 20 September 1998, becoming Ireland's first commercial television channel. The channel broadcasts a mix of Irish programming and imported programming from ITV and others.

UTV (TV channel) Television channel in Northern Ireland

UTV is the ITV region covering Northern Ireland, ITV subsidiary and the former on-air name of the free-to-air television channel serving the area. It is run by ITV plc and is responsible for the regional news service and other programmes made principally for the area.

Sky Replay is a British pay television channel operated by Sky as a sister channel to Sky Max, Sky Showcase and Sky Witness. The current channel began broadcasting in December 2002. The 'Sky 2' name and format had earlier been used for a similar service which broadcast on analogue platforms for a year from 1996. On 27 August 2020 the service rebranded as Sky Replay. The channel broadcasts repeat showings of programmes previously aired on Sky One and Sky Witness.

UKTV Multi-channel broadcaster, subsidiary of the BBC

UKTV Media Limited, simply known as UKTV, is a British multi-channel broadcaster, wholly owned by BBC Studios. It was formed on 1 November 1992 through a joint venture between the BBC and Thames Television. It is one of the United Kingdom's largest television companies.

ITV3 British free-to-air television channel

ITV3 is a British free-to-air television channel owned by ITV Digital Channels, a division of ITV plc. The channel was launched on 1 November 2004, replacing Granada Plus. ITV3 is the sixth-largest UK television channel by audience share and the largest after the five main terrestrial services, the position which was previously held by its sister station ITV2. The channel is known for UK dramas, including sequential reruns of Agatha Christie's Poirot, Classic Coronation Street, Classic Emmerdale, Heartbeat and Inspector Morse, amongst others. Most of these dramas were originally broadcast on ITV or originated from ITV Studios.

ITV4 British free-to-air television channel

ITV4 is a British free-to-air television channel which was launched on 1 November 2005. It is owned by ITV Digital Channels, a division of ITV plc, and is part of the ITV network. The channel has a line-up that includes sport, police shows, Bond films and US comedies and dramas, as well as classic ITV action series of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Virgin Media Two, also called Virgin Two, is an Irish free-to-air television channel operated by Virgin Media Television.

Fox (British and Irish TV channel)

Fox was a British pay television channel serving the United Kingdom and Ireland, owned by Fox Networks Group, a unit of Disney International Operations. It launched on 12 January 2004 as FX289, then changed its name to FX in April 2005, and rebranded to FOX in January 2013. Featuring a mix of comedies and drama series, the channel's programming targeted adults from 18 to 35 years old.

More4 British free-to-air television channel

More4 is a British free-to-air television channel, owned by Channel Four Television Corporation. The channel launched on 10 October 2005. Its programming mainly focuses on lifestyle and documentaries. However, it also shows dramas and comedies, though often late at night.

Freesat is a British free-to-air satellite television service, provided by joint venture between the BBC and ITV plc. The service was formed as a memorandum in 2007 and has been marketed since 6 May 2008. Freesat offers a satellite alternative to the Freeview service on digital terrestrial television, with a broadly similar selection of channels available without subscription for users purchasing a receiver.

Plus (British TV channel) TV channel run by Granada Sky Broadcasting

Plus was a digital channel run by Granada Sky Broadcasting. It was launched on 1 October 1996 under the original name of Granada Plus, and during its availability it underwent successive rebrands as G Plus, G+ and then simply Plus. However, it remained widely referred to by the public at large by its original name. On 1 November 2004, it was permanently closed down by ITV plc in an attempt to bring its replacement, ITV3, on Sky.

STV (TV channel) Television channel in Scotland

STV is a Scottish free-to-air television channel owned by STV Group and is a part of the ITV network. It operates the Central Scotland and Northern Scotland Channel 3 licences, formerly known as Scottish Television and Grampian Television respectively.

Freeview is the name for the collection of free-to-air services on the Digital Terrestrial Television platform in the United Kingdom. The service was launched at 5 am on 30 October 2002 and is jointly operated by its five equal shareholders – BBC, ITV, Channel 4, BSkyB and transmitter operator Arqiva. This article documents the history of the Freeview service, from its inception up to the present.

Channel 5 is a British free-to-air television network launched in 1997. It is the fifth national terrestrial channel in the United Kingdom and is owned by Channel 5 Broadcasting Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of American media conglomerate ViacomCBS, which is grouped under ViacomCBS Networks UK & Australia division.

Great! TV British general entertainment channel owned by Narrative Capitals LLC

Great! TV is a general entertainment channel in the United Kingdom that is owned by Narrative Capital. It originally launched as Sony Entertainment Television on 7 April 2011. However, it was closed on 6 February 2018 and replaced by Sony Crime Channel. It was brought back for a second time on 10 September 2019 when it replaced True Entertainment. The relaunched Sony Channel had different idents and programming than the former due to inheriting some programming from its predecessor True Entertainment and on 25 May 2021, following Narrative Capital's acquisition of Sony's channels, it was rebranded as Great! TV.

Sky Living was a British pay television channel owned and operated by Sky, a division of Comcast. The channel's programming was aimed mainly at women and young adults. It launched as UK Living in 1993 and closed 25 years later.

This is a timeline of the history of Ulster Television.

This is a timeline of the history of commercial television in the Republic of Ireland.


  1. "Annual Statement on Participation TV" (PDF). Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  2. "Viewing summary".
  3. "WHO WHAT WHY: ITV2 | Archive Footage". ITN Source. 15 September 1999. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  4. Patterson, Mark (17 December 1998). "MEDIA CHOICE: ITV2". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  5. "ITV2+1 to take Men & Motors EPG slot". Digital Spy. 6 March 2008. Retrieved 6 March 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 2 September 2013.
  11. "ITV2 & 3 available from midday". 29 February 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  12. BARB, via Archived 18 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  13. Oatts, Joanne (7 June 2007). "ITV2 named channel of the year". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 June 2007.
  14. Kanter, Jake (3 July 2013). "ITV2 wins Channel of the Year". Broadcast. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  15. Wilkes, Neil (25 August 2007). "BBC One named Channel of the Year". Digital Spy. Retrieved 25 August 2007.
  22. Shelley, Darren (10 October 2006). "Timeshifts planned for ITV2, ITV3". Digital Spy . Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  23. Oatts, Joanne (25 October 2006). "Updated: ITV launches +1 channels". Digital Spy . Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  24. Welsh, James (6 March 2008). "ITV2+1 to take Men & Motors EPG slot". Digital Spy . Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  25. "ITV plc 2010 Interim Results & Sky deal". ITV plc. 3 August 2010. Archived from the original on 12 July 2014.
  26. "ITV2 HD sets launch date on Sky". Digital Spy. 29 September 2010.
  27. Sweney, Mark (2 March 2011). "ITV earmarks £12m to hire new talent to break international hit drought". The Guardian. London.
  28. Sweney, Mark (3 August 2010). "ITV unveils pay-TV push". The Guardian. London.
  29. "Virgin Media introduces HDelightful ITV channels". 14 March 2013. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  30. "S2, Readers' Wives?". 625, Dog Watch. 6 February 2003. Retrieved 5 June 2006.
  31. "ITV grabs Northern Rock for Newcastle Uefa matches". MediaWeek. 2 November 2004. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  32. Laughlin, Andrew (16 November 2012). "ITV1 to become 'ITV' in major corporate rebrand". Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  33. "New ITV2 branding launches". ITV Press Centre. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2015.