ITV will launch its dedicated CiTV multichannel offering by autumn next year.

ITV will launch its dedicated CiTV multichannel offering by autumn next year.

ITV controller of children and youth Steven Andrew said that now the merger had been resolved CiTV needed a new strategy for the long term and new programming. He said: "No kids strategy is complete without us being able to play in the cable and satellite world. In fact, we can't not do this and ultimately survive as a kids player in the future."

He said a formal announcement of the plans will be made in January and that ITV is negotiating with a number of partners about the project. Sources said ITV has been in discussions with both Disney and Nickelodeon.

Andrew added: "We have seen the benefits [of a multichannel kids offering] at the BBC, especially in pre-school. But we have never had that - there have been too many other things pulling us in different directions."

Andrew also said ITV was in talks with Ofcom to allow the channel to earn secondary revenue by exploiting spin-off products from shows it commissions.