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Friday, 18 February, 2000, 21:02 GMT
ITN announces 24-hour channel

ITN's anchorman Trevor McDonald Trevor McDonald: The face of ITN

Independent Television News (ITN) is to follow in the footsteps of the BBC and Sky by launching its own 24-hour news channel later this year.

The company - which provides news for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 - has said it is teaming up with telecoms and cable giant NTL to launch the digital service.

NTL delivers telephone, television, internet and interactive services to millions of UK homes and businesses.

NTL acts as a catalyst to bring valuable new content to the market and this joint venture is a great example of that.
NTL CEO Barclay Knapp
Around 5.6 million homes are served by its fibre optic network.

No launch date has been announced but the service will be available on all three platforms - terrestrial, satellite and cable.

There had been speculation that ITN was planning such a move for months which was finally confirmed on Friday as the pair signed.

ITN is also involved in talks with other cable operators over its new channel.

Sky News launched its 24-hour service in 1989, while BBC News 24 first broadcast in November 1997. It launched on cable only but now transmits across all three platforms.

ITN bosses would not reveal details about presenters or the on-screen look of the new channel on Friday.

Chief executive Stewart Purvis said: "In NTL we have found a perfect partner to exploit the opportunities offered by new technology and digital broadcasting, including interactivity and enhanced television, which will distinguish our channel from its competitors.

"The expansion in newsgathering will benefit ITN's existing national and international customers."


Barclay Knapp, chief executive officer of NTL, said: "NTL acts as a catalyst to bring valuable new content to the market and this joint venture is a great example of that.

"NTL's interactive, local and on-demand capabilities offer the potential for exciting news services and we're delighted to join forces with as strong a news brand as ITN."

As well as TV news, ITN produces radio news for IRN and the London stations LBC and News Direct, together with ITN Online.

ITN also controls the European news channel EuroNews which broadcasts in six languages, reaching nearly 100 million people.

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