UK broadcaster ITV is to launch a lifestyle and reality channel called ITVBe, which will be the exclusive home of The Only Way is Essex (pictured) and will go live by the end of the year.
The free-to-air channel will target a younger, female demographic, and its programming will feature content from the UK and the U.S., including the acquired Real Housewives franchise.
ITVBe will set out to complement sister network ITV2, which airs scripted series, panel shows and formats, and targets to the 16-34 demographic.
The new female-skewing channel will be the seventh channel for ITV’s family of channels, which also includes ITV3, ITV4, CITV, and the flagship ITV channel.
“ITVBe will be a terrific new addition to our family of channels,” said Adam Crozier, chief executive of ITV. “It reinforces our plan to maximize audiences and revenues from our broadcasting business.”
Peter Fincham, ITV’s director of television, added: “We identified an opportunity to develop what is currently part of the ITV2 schedule – reality and non-scripted shows, which are very popular with young women and housewives with kids – into a distinct channel proposition, aimed more squarely at that audience.”