ITV is to close its linear children’s channel CITV after 17 years. Instead the commercial broadcaster is launching a dedicated area on its AVOD platform ITVX with an extended range of titles.
ITVX Kids will debut in July 2023 at the start of the summer holidays. Content aimed at six- to 12-year-olds will then be only available to stream from the early autumn. However, ITV will 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.
The commercial broadcaster that while the average amount of broadcast TV minutes of kids TV channels watched by four- to 15-year-olds per week has declined by 62% since 2019, unmatched viewing has risen by 30% in the same period.
However, Sky has recently adopted the opposite strategy, launching a linear Sky Kids channel to accompanying an established VOD service.
“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,” said Craig Morris, Managing Editor of ITVX said: 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 Kids ITVX homepage, accessed within a child-safe ITVX Kids profile, will bring together over 100 brilliant titles in a dedicated homepage, with over 1,000 hours of programming to choose from, a near doubling of the current offer, with curated rails and collections.
The range of new shows will complement existing favourites, including Lloyd of the Flies, Lily’s Driftwood Bay, Mumfie, and The Rubbish World of Dave Spud, which will also be available on ITVX Kids.