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Tuesday, 1 August, 2000, 14:49 GMT 15:49 UK
ITN joins all-news battle
The ITN News Channel team: Carol Barnes, Daljit Dhaliwal, Alison Bell, Leyla Daybelge, Ros Childs, (front row), Andrew Harvey, John Suchet, and Simon Vigar, with Julia Somerville on the screen
We're on: ITN's line-up celebrate the News Channel's launch
ITN joined the 24-hour news fray on Tuesday when it launched its new rolling news channel.

The ITN News Channel will compete with BBC News 24 and Sky News for audiences, and includes some of the company's best-known presenters.

It went on air at 1330 BST, with Julia Somerville the first face seen on screen.

As well as cable, digital terrestrial and satellite TV, the service will also be available on other platforms, including digital radio, mobile phones, and on PCs through ITN's website.

The channel will contain interactive content - other broadcasters have used similar technology before. The BBC presented interactive coverage of tennis from Wimbledon and the recent Open golf championship at St Andrews, while Sky offers Sky News Active - an interactive, multi-screen version of Sky News.

Gavin Esler and Valerie Sanderson of BBC News 24
The ITN News Channel will square up to BBC News 24 (above) and Sky News
But there will be a nod to the company's past as the service will have the first regular ITN news bulletins at 2200 since News At Ten was axed by ITV last year.

One member of the presenting team is Andrew Harvey, who joins ITN after 30 years with the BBC.

Chief executive Stewart Purvis said at the launch: "This is the first time in ITN's 45-year history we have broadcast news direct to the consumer as a broadcaster in our own right - and 17 years since I first put together a pilot for an ITN news channel.

ITN was founded in 1955 as the news supplier for ITV, though the company has diversified in recent years.

At the weekend, it dismissed a bid from Sky to take its contract with ITV, saying the company "relished a fight".

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