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ITV3 is a British free-to-air television channel owned by ITV Digital Channels, a division of ITV plc. The channel was launched on 1 November 2004, replacing Granada Plus. ITV3 is the sixth largest UK television channel by audience share and the largest after the five main terrestrial services, the position which was previously held by its sister station ITV2. The channel is known for UK dramas, including sequential reruns of Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Classic Coronation Street, Classic Emmerdale, Heartbeat and Inspector Morse, amongst others.
ITV3 was launched on the terrestrial (Freeview), cable (Virgin Media) and digital satellite (Sky) on 1 November 2004 at 9 pm, with the UKTV premiere of John Rankin’s Rebus. It is also available on TalkTalk TV IPTV and Freesat. ITV3 came about when ITV took full control of Granada Sky Broadcasting, and ceased broadcasting the Granada Plus channel, thereby allowing ITV3 to take the channel number and bandwidth, meaning all platforms could receive the channel from launch. ITV3 was also the only channel in the ITV brand not to simulcast CITV breakfast, until ITV launched two channels in 2014, ITVBe and ITV Encore.
The channel had been available from launch on UPC Ireland, but was withdrawn on 22 March 2006. This is believed to have been at the request of ITV plc, which had previously barred Irish newspapers from publishing details of ITV channels and regions other than UTV and Men & Motors. The channel had already been (and remains) available to Irish viewers on free-to-air satellite for some time, however it has not been listed in the Sky electronic programme guide since its removal on 25 January 2006. ITV3 returned to UPC Ireland in the Republic of Ireland on 4 January 2010.
As Freeview announced plans for a retune on 30 September 2009, ITV3 moved to an alternative multiplex. Viewers in areas that have completed switchover who receive their signal from a local relay transmitter and receive ‘Freeview Lite’, are no longer be able to receive ITV3.
On 1 April 2011, ITV3 was removed from UPC Ireland along with ITV2 and ITV4 due to the expiry of a carriage agreement between UPC and ITV. UPC Ireland claim that ITV is not in a position to renegotiate the deal because ITV had struck a deal with another channel provider to provide it with exclusive rights to air certain content from the channels. Conversely, UPC Ireland also claims to have been in discussions right up to the last moment in order to continue broadcasting the channels. ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 were restored to the UPC Ireland line-up on 20 December 2011. TV3 and its sister channel 3e already hold carriage agreement to air certain ITV content within the Republic of Ireland, alternatively UTV is available within the Republic. ITV2 is available along with ITV3 and ITV4 within Switzerland, all three channels are available on SwisscomTV and UPC Cablecom.
It was announced by ITV on 20 September 2017 that reruns of classic episodes of Coronation Street will air twice on weekdays. The repeat run began on 2 October 2017 with the episodes originally broadcast on 15 and 20 January 1986. The episodes air from 2:40 pm on weekday afternoons and are repeated at 6:00 am the following day (except Friday’s episodes, which are repeated on the following Monday).
On 28 February 2018, a new feed of ITV3 was launched on Freeview on channel 788.
It was announced by ITV on 5 January 2019 that reruns of classic episodes of Emmerdale will air twice on weekdays. Two classic episodes were retransmitted between Mondays to Fridays at 1:45 pm until 2:40 pm from 21 January 2019.They are repeated at 7:00 am the following day (except Friday’s episodes, which are repeated on the following Monday) The reruns began with episode 1403 (originally shown on 14 November 1989) which was when the title changed from Emmerdale Farm to Emmerdale.