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.[1] 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.

LaunchedNovember 1, 2004 (2004-11-01)
Owned byITV Digital Channels
(ITV plc)
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
Audience share2.08%
0.17% (+1)
(June 2019 (2019-06), BARB)
SloganThe keeper of ITV's treasured and timeless drama
CountryUnited Kingdom
Sister channel(s)ITV
ITV Box Office
Timeshift serviceITV3 +1
FreeviewChannel 10
Channel 34 (+1)
FreesatChannel 115
Channel 116 (+1)
(UK only)
Channel 119 (SD/HD)
Channel 219 (+1)
Channel 817 (SD)
Astra 2E (28.2°E)10891 H 22000 5/6
10906 V 22000 5/6
Astra 2G (28.2°E)11068 H 23000 3/4 (HD)
11097 V 23000 3/4 (HD)
Virgin Media (UK)Channel 117
Channel 174 (+1)
Channel 177 (HD)
Virgin Media (Ireland)Channel 131
Channel 219
UPC Cablecom
Channel 161/177
WightFibreChannel 7
Channel arbitrary
Streaming media
ITV HubWatch live (UK only)
TVPlayerWatch live (UK only)
Virgin TV AnywhereWatch live (UK only)
Watch live (Ireland only)
Sky GoWatch live
(UK only)


ITV3 was launched on the terrestrial (Freeview), cable (Virgin Media) and digital satellite (Sky) on 1 November 2004 at 9pm, with the UKTV premiere of John Rankin's Rebus. It is also available on TalkTalk TV IPTV and Freesat. ITV3 came about when ITV took full control of Granada Sky Broadcasting, and ceased broadcasting the Granada Plus channel, thereby allowing ITV3 to take the channel number and bandwidth, meaning all platforms could receive the channel from launch. ITV3 was also the only channel in the ITV brand not to simulcast CITV breakfast, until ITV launched two channels in 2014, ITVBe and ITV Encore.

The channel had been available from launch on UPC Ireland, but was withdrawn on 22 March 2006. This is believed to have been at the request of ITV plc, which had previously barred Irish newspapers from publishing details of ITV channels and regions other than UTV and Men & Motors. The channel had already been (and remains) available to Irish viewers on free-to-air satellite for some time, however it has not been listed in the Sky electronic programme guide since its removal on 25 January 2006. ITV3 returned to UPC Ireland in the Republic of Ireland on 4 January 2010.

As Freeview announced plans for a retune on 30 September 2009, ITV3 moved to an alternative multiplex. Viewers in areas that have completed switchover who receive their signal from a local relay transmitter and receive 'Freeview Lite', are no longer be able to receive ITV3.[2]

On 1 April 2011, ITV3 was removed from UPC Ireland along with ITV2 and ITV4 due to the expiry of a carriage agreement between UPC and ITV.[3] 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 in order to continue broadcasting the channels.[4] 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,[5] 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.[6]

It was announced by ITV on 20 September 2017 that reruns of classic episodes of Coronation Street will air twice on weekdays.[7] The repeat run began on 2 October 2017 with the episodes originally broadcast on 15 and 20 January 1986. The episodes air from 2:40pm on weekday afternoons and are repeated at 6:00am the following day (except Friday's episodes, which are repeated on the following Monday).

On 28 February 2018, a new feed of ITV3 was launched on Freeview on channel 788.[8]

It was announced by ITV on 5 January 2019 that reruns of classic episodes of Emmerdale will air twice on weekdays. Two classic episodes were retransmitted between Mondays to Fridays at 1:45 pm until 2:40 pm from 21 January 2019. The reruns began with episode 1403 (originally shown on 14 November 1989) which was when the title changed from Emmerdale Farm to Emmerdale.[9]

Crime Thriller Awards

The ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards were first held on 3 October 2008, and were broadcast on ITV3 three days later. ITV3 controller Emma Tennant devised the awards to "cement ITV3's reputation as the home of great storytelling and, in particular, great crime thrillers".[10] In 2009, the awards were merged with the Crime Writers' Association Daggers.

Subsidiary channels

ITV3 +1

ITV launched a one-hour timeshift channel of ITV3 on Monday 30 October 2006, it was allocated channel number 213 on Sky. This is now used by Channel W.[11] ITV2 +1 was launched on the same day.[12] This channel is often unable to broadcast certain programmes "for legal reasons", but the programme in question might still be listed on the EPG. The channel launched on Freeview on 15 October 2013 using downtime from ITV-owned shopping channel The Store. Initially on Freeview, ITV3 +1 broadcast from 01:00 till 06:00 – these hours were extended and brought forward in February 2014, now airing from 18:00 till 00:00 in the higher EPG slot of channel 34. On 25 August 2015, ITV3 +1 extended its hours on Freeview to 18:00 till 06:00 and then in March 2016 it went back to closing at midnight.


A high-definition simulcast of ITV3, ITV3 HD, was launched on 15 November 2010 on Sky.[13][14] The channel was initially available through Sky's pay subscription service in a non-exclusive deal,[15][16] before being added to Virgin Media's service on 14 March 2013.[17] ITV3 HD offers most of the ITV3 catalogue of recent drama in high definition, including Lewis and Agatha Christie's Marple and factual series such as Joanna Lumley's Nile and Martin Clunes' Islands of Britain.


2013 rebranding

In line with the corporate rebranding of ITV, ITV3 received a new look on 14 January 2013. The channel was described as the "keeper of ITV's treasured and timeless drama", with a new "midnight blue" logo and idents that feature stories told in shadow-puppet style animation inside glass bell jars.[18]

Viewership and programming

The channel is mainly aimed at the over-35 audience, and much of its output consists of reruns of older ITV drama series and sitcoms. The company are hoping to use it, and extra investment into its ITV2 channel, to triple non-terrestrial revenue within five years and this has led to the network purchasing the exclusive terrestrial television rights to a number of newer and in some cases popular US drama series, such as NUMB3RS and more recently Law & Order: Trial by Jury.

During the 2007 Rugby World Cup, ITV3 broadcast some of the matches while ITV1 (now ITV) and ITV4 were showing live European football matches which were being played at the same time and in the days when ITV4 was an evenings only service, ITV3 broadcast live weekend coverage of the Tour de France, and more recently, the ITV Racing.[19]

Current programming

Former programming

Most watched programmes

The following is a list of the ten most watched broadcasts on ITV3 since launch, based on Live +7 data supplied by BARB.[20]

RankProgrammeNumber of ViewersDate
1Foyle's War1,710,00023 March 2013
2Lewis1,504,00014 July 2012
31,486,00016 July 2012
4Foyle's War1,473,00014 January 2012
51,467,00021 January 2012
6Lewis1,429,0001 July 2012
7Midsomer Murders 1,425,0004 July 2014
81,414,0008 January 2011
9Foyle's War1,405,0004 February 2012
101,346,00013 February 2011

On-air identity


  1. "Monthly Total Viewing Summary". BARB. 9 August 2012. Archived from the original on 17 December 2012.
  2. "Digital UK - Retuning instructions". Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  3. "Bad news for fans of Poirot: UPC is losing ITV2, 3 and 4". Business ETC. 31 March 2011.
  4. "ITV2, ITV3, & ITV4 channels are no longer available". UPC Ireland. 1 April 2011. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012.
  5. "UPC lose ITV's digital channels". TheAirwaves. 1 April 2011. Archived from the original on 6 September 2011.
  6. "Channels – Television". UPC Cablecom. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  7. Anderton, Joe (20 September 2017). "Coronation Street Classic episodes are coming to ITV 3 Next Month". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  8. "Freeview Updates". a516digital. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  9. Warner, Sam (5 January 2019). "Emmerdale classic episodes will start airing on ITV3 later this month". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  10. West, Dave (3 May 2008). "ITV3 plans crime drama awards, season". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 October 2008.
  11. Shelley, Darren (10 October 2006). "Timeshifts planned for ITV2, ITV3". Digital Spy. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  12. Oatts, Joanne (25 October 2006). "Updated: ITV launches +1 channels". Digital Spy. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  13. "ITV plc 2010 Interim Results & Sky deal". ITV plc. 3 August 2010. Archived from the original on 12 July 2014.
  14. "ITV3 HD and ITV4 HD go live on Sky". Digital Spy. 15 November 2010.
  15. Sweney, Mark (2 March 2011). "ITV earmarks £12m to hire new talent to break international hit drought". London: The Guardian.
  16. Sweney, Mark (3 August 2010). "ITV unveils pay-TV push". The Guardian. London.
  17. "Virgin Media introduces HDelightful ITV channels". Virgin Media. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  18. Laughlin, Andrew (16 November 2012). "ITV1 to become 'ITV' in major corporate rebrand". Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  19. "ITV3". Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  20. "Weekly Top 10 Programmes". 23 October 2017.
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