ITV 1 HD set for multiplatform launch in April

UK commercial broadcaster ITV will launch a HD channel on pay-TV platforms Sky and Virgin Media, and free-to-air services Freeview and Freesat in time for this summer’s World Cup.

ITV 1 HD will launch as a standalone channel on April 1. The broadcaster’s only HD presence to-date has been as a red button service on Freesat for selected events, which will convert to a full channel next month. The broadcaster has also struck deals with Sky and Virgin Media and the channel will also launch on free-to-air DTT platform Freeview.

ITV said the ITV1 schedule will be simulcast on the new channel, with the majority of peak time content available in native HD, including all live football and an increasing range of drama, factual and entertainment programming. Other ITV1 content including the morning and daytime schedules will be upscaled to HD. 

Sky has also announced the addition of a HD version of the Hallmark Channel to its line-up from June 28 and Sky Sports HD 4 from April 29.