ITV Launching Kids Streamer, CITV to Shutter in Autumn

The U.K.’s ITV announced today (Friday, March 10) the launch of a new dedicated destination for kids on ITVX — ITVX Kids — with even more content across a range of titles aimed at school-age children and preschool audiences. Launching in July 2023 and rolling out across the school summer holiday period, ITVX Kids will consolidate the network’s 6-12s content into a streaming-only offering from early Autumn 2023, when the 40-year-old CITV linear channel will go off air.

“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, recognizable brands and existing favorites for a range of ages, all in one child-safe area, with editorial curation to guide viewing,” said Craig Morris, Managing Editor of ITVX. “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 move is the latest element in ITV’s drive to push its streaming presence. The outlet cites BARB viewing data which demonstrates that while the average amount of broadcast TV minutes of kids’ TV channels watched by 4-15 year olds per week has declined by -62% since 2019, unmatched viewing (home video, SVOD/AVOD, video sharing, etc.) has risen by +30% in the same period, demonstrating the streaming first trend in kids viewing.

The ITVX Kids homepage, accessed within a child-safe profile, will offer over 100 titles (over 1,000 hours of programming) to choose from — almost double the current selection — with curated rails and collections. These will feature a wide range of titles, including brand new programs dropping monthly on the service from July 2023. New content will span many genres and subjects, including animation, comedy, gameshows, live action and sport, sourced from a broad spectrum of distributors, from small independents as well as regional U.K. suppliers.

The Sound Collector
The Sound Collector

New series will complement existing favorites such as Lloyd of the Flies, Lily’s Driftwood Bay, Claude, Mumfie, Mystery Lane and The Rubbish World of Dave Spud which will be available on ITVX Kids. Brand new episodes of The Rubbish World of Dave Spud are commissioned for broadcast in 2024 and will be premiered on ITVX.

ITVX Kids will also feature some much-loved British brands, including the animated series of Mr Bean and for younger preschool children, TeleTubbies Let’s Go, Sooty and Bob The Builder, amongst other titles.

Commissions that ITV was able to greenlight, thanks to funding from the BFI Young Audiences Content Fund which ran until 2022, will also appear on ITVX Kids. These include sustainable arts and craft series Makeaway Takeaway; HOW, highlighting amazing facts, science and historical stories in a fun, fast-paced, hands-on format; The Sound Collector, an animated series narrated by Keira Knightley, about a little boy who has a passion for sound despite being hard of hearing; and Happy The Hoglet, which helps pre-schoolers navigate those big emotional rollercoasters that comes with being young.

ITVX is prioritizing accessibility for all children who want to enjoy these programs. The service is aiming to have 100% of its available content subtitled on ITVX Kids, with about 20% of content audio described and a push for original programming in British Sign Language, such as Signpost Productions’ Mission Employable and Daremaster.

The CITV broadcast channel will close in early Autumn, once the new kids’  streaming destination has rolled out across platforms and devices. However, ITV will maintain the LittleBe preschool segment on ITVBe and will offer some children’s content in the early mornings on ITV2 from September, with strong cross promotion to ITVX.

Lloyd of the Flies
Lloyd of the Flies


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