ITV is closing its linear kids channel CITV in autumn 2023, replacing it with a new dedicated destination for children's content on its streaming platform ITVX.
ITVX Kids will launch over the 2023 summer school holidays and promises more kids content than ever before, with a range of titles wide enough to appeal to both school age and pre-school age children.
The closure of CITV, which currently broadcasts daily from 6am-9pm, appears to be part of a growing industry trend of cutting linear kids' programming. In May 2022, the BBC announced its plans to cut CBBC’s linear channel.
Explaining the decision, ITV pointed to BARB viewing data that demonstrates that while the average number of broadcast minutes per week watched by 4-15 year olds has declined by 62% since 2019, its streaming viewing has increased by 30% in the same period.
The ITVX Kids homepage will be accessed within a child-safe profile, and will bring together over 100 titles and over 1000 hours of programming, with curated collections.
The collections will include brand new programmes dropping monthly on the service from July 2023, spanning genres and subjects from comedy to gameshows, live action, animation and sport.
The broadcaster has commissioned another series of The Rubbish World of Dave Spud, which will premiere on ITVX in 2024.
Craig Morris, Managing Editor of ITVX, said that ITVX 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.
"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.”
Existing favourites like Lloyd of the Flies, Claude and Mystery Lane will also be added to the collections, as well as classic British brands like Mr Bean, TeleTubbies and Bob The Builder.