Following the success of channels such as 'Channel4+1', which show a conventional channel's programme stream delayed by one hour, ITV has planned an innovative service of its own.
“We realise that viewers want increased choice and flexibility from their broadcasters, so we plan to introduce a new service enabling our viewers to miss our programmes more easily,” explained Gerald Billingsworth, head of Light Entertainment at Granada. “Unlike Channel 4 which has provocative and innovative programmes, compared to our cheap derivative offerings. We will be introducing 'ITV1 -1' so that viewers can tune in at the scheduled time and have the wonderful surprise of having missed the programme that was broadcast an hour ago.”
ITV is working closely with its broadcast partners Virgin Media and Sky to integrate sophisticated programme skipping functionality into their respective V+ and Sky + personal video recorders.
“We have talked to the ITV viewer and they have spoken loudly and clearly, they want a 'Record nothing like this' option,” explained Billingsworth. “The boxes will also offer a 'calm' option whereby the user can choose to have inadvertent recordings of our schedule replaced by pictures of a waterfall and whale music.”
However it is the expanded channel range that is really exciting the mandarins at ITV. If 'minus one' proves to be a success then they are preparing for the launch of 'ITV1+8' as a real breakthrough in the '+1' channel format.
“This would give the people of Great Britain the chance to completely miss the latest prime-time vehicles for Ant & Dec,” said Mr Billingsworth. “On 'plus eight' programmes such as 'Britain's got talent','X Factor' and the like can safely be shown in the small hours of the morning meaning no one need suffer.”
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