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ITV announces it's axing CITV channel after 40 years

mr bean
ITV announces it's axing CITV channelITV

ITV has confirmed it's axing CITV after 40 years.

The popular children's channel first launched in 1983, though the news comes as ITV plans to shake up its kids' programming with the launch of ITVX Kids.

As such, CITV will close in the autumn following the release of the new platform in July, which will appeal to the preschool and school-age demographic.

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The broadcaster said ITVX Kids is part of a "continuing drive to supercharge its presence in streaming, delivering content to audiences however they want to watch it".

"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, recognisable brands and existing favourites 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."

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ITV/Shutterstock

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ITV highlighted figures from BARB showing that the average amount of broadcast TV minutes of kids' TV channels watched among 4 to 15-year-olds per week has fallen by 62% since 2019, while other "unmatched" viewing (which includes a variety of types of other TV viewing including DVDs, gaming and streaming) has risen by 30%.

The new channel will offer over 1000 hours of programming, spanning genres including comedy, gameshows, live action, animation and sport.

Titles such as Lloyd of the Flies, Lily's Driftwood Bay, Claude, Mumfie, Mystery Lane and The Rubbish World of Dave Spud will continue on the new channel, while shows such as Mr Bean, Teletubbies Let's Go, Sooty and Bob the Builder will also air.

ITV has also shared ambitions for 100% of content to be subtitled and at least 20% to be audio described, as well as including BSL originals such as Mission Employable and Dare Master on the platform.

Some children's programming will air during early mornings on ITV2 from September, and the LittleBe segment will also continue on ITVBe.

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