ITV Encore was a British drama television channel in the United Kingdom that was owned by ITV Digital Channels Ltd, a division of ITV plc. The channel was exclusive to Sky's digital satellite platform, Sky Go, Now TV, and Sky Store.
|Launched||9 June 2014|
|Closed||1 May 2018|
|Owned by||ITV Digital Channels Ltd|
|Picture format||16:9 576i (SDTV)|
0.01% (+1) (February 2018 , BARB)
|Slogan||Where Drama Lives|
|Broadcast area||United Kingdom|
|Replaced by||Online service|
ITV Box Office
|Timeshift service||ITV Encore +1|
(at time of closure)
|Sky (United Kingdom)||Channel 123 (SD/HD)|
Channel 263 (SD)
Channel 268 (+1)
|Sky Go||Watch live|
|Now TV (Sky plc)||Watch live (UK only)|
ITV Encore launched at 7 pm on 9 June 2014. The first programme to be shown on the channel was an episode of Agatha Christie's Poirot.
The channel was ITV's first new channel launch in over eight years, and formed part of a wider four-year partnership with Sky - ITV's largest ever with a platform operator. It was also the first ITV-branded subscription channel since ITV Sport Channel closed down in 2002.
ITV Encore +1
A one-hour timeshifted mirror of ITV Encore launched alongside the parent channel, broadcast on Sky channel 193 (a channel slot ITV had acquired from the Information TV group). ITV Encore +1 temporarily closed on 1 October 2014 (ITV3 +1 took its old slot), to make space for ITVBe, which launched on channel 179. ITV Encore +1 was re-added to the channel lineup on 15 December 2014 on channel 208, the same day ITVBe +1 was added to the Sky and Freesat platforms. It moved to channel 268 on 1 August 2017, a slot previously taken by ITV4 HD, as part of a reshuffling which included ITVBe moving to channel 149, a slot they had acquired from AMC Networks International Zone.
ITV Encore HD
A high-definition service also launched on Sky channel 298, on the same day as ITV Encore. It broadcasts ITV dramas in high-definition. ITV Encore HD moved to Sky channel 263 on 19 August 2014, following more spaces in the Entertainment genre to be added, and the Lifestyle genre being shortened. On 15 December 2014, it moved again to Sky channel 269, to make space for ITVBe +1 and ITV Encore +1 (as ITV3 HD took its old place). It moved back to channel 263 on 1 August 2017, with CBS Drama taking its old place.
Closure of linear service
It was confirmed by an ITV spokesperson in November 2017 that the linear television service ITV Encore would close in Spring 2018 to be replaced by an on-demand only service. This service commenced on 1 May 2018 and will become available on other platforms as well as Sky. Some have attributed the closure of the channel to poor ratings, in part due to its Sky exclusivity, and an over-reliance on repeats.
ITV Encore closed at midnight on 1 May 2018 as part of Sky's major EPG reshuffle. The last programme shown on the channel was Agatha Christie's Poirot The Plymouth Express. Its Sky EPG slot was taken by Sky Two.
The idea of replacing the television channel with an online service is similar to a direction BBC Three took in 2016.
ITV Encore broadcasts some of ITV's most successful drama series of recent years. Since January 2015, ITV Encore also shows original drama, commissioned for the channel. This move was to attract new viewers to the channel, and to the Sky TV platform.
- "We are proud to announce the new pay channel, ITV Encore". ITVmedia.co.uk. ITV Media, ITV plc. Archived from the original on 29 January 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
- Eames, Tom (29 January 2014). "ITV announces new drama pay channel Encore for Sky". DigitalSpy.co.uk. Digital Spy. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
- "ITV to launch pay-TV drama channel". BBC.co.uk. BBC News. 29 January 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
- Gill, James (10 November 2017). "ITV Encore to close as a channel and move on demand only". Radio Times. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
- Gill, James (18 November 2017). "ITV Encore to close as a channel and move on demand only". Radio Times. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- "ITV Encore to close as a channel and move on demand only".
- "ITV confirms ITV Encore launch date". ITV.com (Press release). ITV Media, ITV plc. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2017.