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ITV, AwesomenessTV create UK pact

UK broadcaster ITV and kids-focused YouTube channel operator AwesomenessTV have entered into a two-year content agreement.

This will see AwesomenessTV shows debuting exclusively in the UK on digital terrestrial ITV2 and on-demand platform ITV Hub, which is getting exclusive programming for the first time.

Included is a new extended weekend programme for ITV2 in early 2017 that will feature AwesomenessTV’s roster of young talent, and scripted and unscripted series from the US-based digital business.

The first year of the deal, 2017, will see ITV playing 75 hours of AwesomenessTV shows on ITV2 and ITV Hub. This increases to 100 hours in 2018.

Furthermore, ITV’s production arm, ITV Studios, and AwesomenessTV will join forces to create new scripted and unscripted programmes for ITV2, with ITV Studios Global Entertainment taking global sales rights to resulting shows.

For ITV, the partnerships gives it a direct route to the increasingly important millennial audience, while AwesomenessTV, which is part of DreamWorks Animation, has been expanding internationally.

It has content deals with the likes of Endemol Shine Beyond, and earlier this year launched its popular teen-focused YouTube channel in the UK through that agreement. AwesomenessTV programming includes Guidance and Tagged for the Verizon Go90 platform and upcoming Hulu effort Freakish.

“AwesomenessTV has quickly grown into one of the most successful youth content companies in the world,” said ITV’s managing director, pay TV and interactive, Simon Pitts. “The team has very successfully

combined the best of YouTube with high quality production values to create great TV shows.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with AwesomenessTV across ITV to produce, broadcast and distribute new shows for ITV2, the ITV Hub and international markets.”

AwesomenessTV chief exec Brian Robbins said the agreement “reinforces the value of our premium scripted series with our audience as we expand locally into all the markets of the world”.