Sky has boosted its HD channel line-up to 54 channels with the addition of ITV3 and ITV4 in high definition.
The two channels launched at 5pm today, with ITV3 HD on channel 226 and ITV4 HD on channel 227.
The amount of HD content looks a little thin on the ground at launch but live HD sport – football and darts – HD films and spin-off programmes – such as Xtra Factor – from ITV's main channel are in the pipeline.
ITV2 HD will launch on Sky+ HD from today, October 7th. Additional ITV channels, 3 and 4, will follow in high definition later this year.
ITV says it is in talks with other providers, including Virgin Media, about taking the additiional ITV HD channels, but the deal is exclusive to Sky among satellite platforms.
ITV1 HD is already available on Freesat, Freeview, Sky and Virgin Media.
The initial schedule for ITV2 HD is as follows:
Thursday 7th October
20.00 The Vampire Diaries
22.45 Coronation Street
23.20 FILM: Van Helsing (2004)
Friday 8TH October
06.00 Coronation Street
12.00 Coronation Street
17.50 The X Factor
19.45 The X Factor
21.00 FILM: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
23.10 FILM: Out of Sight (1998)
01.35 Coronation Street
02.05 Coronation Street
ITV has signed a deal to put three of its high-definition channels – ITV2, 3 and 4 – on Sky's satellite TV platform.
The move is part of ITV's five-year strategy to reduce its dependence on conventional advertising and move back into pay-TV.
ITV's HD channels will become available to Sky+ HD subscribers in the autumn, starting with ITV2 HD in October. ITV says it is in talks with other providers, including Virgin Media, but the deal is exclusive to Sky among satellite platforms.
The agreement with Sky was announced at the same time as ITV's half-yearly results. Adjusted pre-tax profits were £118m in the first half of 2010, with TV ad revenue rising by 18%. Group revenue rose marginally from £909m to £987m.
ITV chief executive Adam Crozier has also unveiled a £75m investment fund, to be spent over the next three years on "operating investments online, in content, and in our digital channels".