ITV has announced the closure of its children’s TV channel, CITV, after 17 years on air. The decision comes as part of ITV’s strategy to focus on stream-only content, which it believes is the future of TV.
The move has sparked controversy among parents and TV industry insiders. Many are concerned that the closure of CITV will limit the choice of programming available to children, while others argue that the move is a natural progression for a television industry that is increasingly shifting towards online platforms.
CITV was launched in 2006 as a dedicated children’s TV channel, showcasing a range of programs aimed at children aged 7 to 14. The channel quickly became popular with young viewers and helped to launch the careers of a number of presenters, including Richard McCourt and Dominic Wood, also known as Dick and Dom.
Over the years, CITV has aired shows including Horrible Histories, Pokémon, and Power Rangers, as well as its own original programming, such as Sooty and S.H.A.R.K. Since the announcement of the closure, fans have taken to social media to express their disappointment and nostalgia for the channel, sharing memories of their favorite shows and presenters.
ITV’s decision to close CITV comes as part of a larger shift towards online streaming. The broadcaster has announced that it will focus on ITV Hub, its streaming service, which offers on-demand programming as well as live streaming of ITV channels. The decision is part of ITV’s wider strategy to compete with streaming giants such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, which have disrupted the traditional TV industry.
ITV’s plan to focus on streaming has been brewing for some time. The broadcaster has invested heavily in the development of ITV Hub, which launched in 2013 as a replacement for ITV Player. Since then, ITV has added a range of features to the service, including live streaming of ITV channels, catch-up programming, and original content. The service now has around 30 million registered users in the UK, and ITV has said that it expects this number to grow as more viewers shift towards online platforms.
The closure of CITV is likely to be seen as a sign that traditional TV channels are struggling to compete with online streaming services. While CITV has been popular with young viewers for years, audience numbers have been declining in recent years, and ITV has been increasingly focusing on its online offering. The broadcaster has said that it will continue to produce children’s programming, but that it will focus on creating content for online platforms.
The decision to close CITV has been met with mixed reactions from industry insiders. Some have argued that it is a necessary move for ITV, which needs to adapt to the changing TV landscape in order to survive. Others have raised concerns about the impact of the closure on children’s programming, arguing that there is already a lack of choice for young viewers, particularly on free-to-air channels.
The closure of CITV is undoubtedly a significant moment in the history of children’s TV. For many young viewers, the channel has been a staple of their TV-watching experience, introducing them to a range of diverse programming and helping to shape their interests and values. It remains to be seen what the future holds for children’s TV in the UK, but it is clear that the changing TV landscape means that traditional channels must adapt or risk being left behind.