The ITV News Channel has been given a last-minute reprieve on the Freeview platform but has had its hours slashed in half.
The ITV News Channel has been given a last-minute reprieve on the Freeview platform but has had its hours slashed in half.

Executives decided on Monday to drop the 24-hour broadcast of the channel to make way for new launch ITV4, which kicked off at 6pm on Tuesday (1 November).

As expected, ITV decided that Men and Motors should hold onto its 24-hour slot as it loses less money than the ITV News Channel. ITV only has five slots on the platform and already airs ITVs 1, 2 and 3.

The News Channel now airs in ITV4's downtime, between 6am and 6pm. However the deal is unlikely to be a long-term solution because ITV is launching a children's channel in February on ITV4's daytime capacity.

Speculation is growing that the ITV News Channel, which still runs on Sky and cable, could be axed altogether. It has a programme budget of£3.5m a year and is predicted to continue losing money for some time.

ITV4's heavily trailed launch night was seen as a success, attracting an all-hours share of 3.23% in multichannel homes.