ITV News hours cut on Freeview for ITV4

Zooropa

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ITV News is to have its hours slashed in half on Freeview to make way for new male channel ITV4, it was confirmed today.

The broadcaster has been faced with a dilemma over its use of the scarce DTT space: it currently has just five channel slots, currently occupied by ITV1, ITV2, ITV3, ITV News and Men & Motors respectively.

Either Men & Motors or the news operation will have to be axed on Freeview to make room for ITV4, which launches tomorrow (Tuesday). While the latter is predicted to continue operating at a loss, the former is due to break even next year.

For now, ITV has decided on a compromise and will air the news channel between 6am and 6pm, the downtime hours of ITV4. The solution is not permanent, however: from February the slot will be occupied by ITV's new FTA kids channel.
 
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