UK free-to-air broadcaster ITV is courting more young eyeballs in a deal that gives ITV2 and ITV Hub exclusive UK premiere rights to AwesomenessTV’s long-form premium series.
The partnership with DreamWorks Animation-owned AwesomenessTV will also result in co-producing credits, as ITV Studios and the multi-platform media company will create new youth-focused original series for the UK and international markets. (ITV Global Entertainment will license these newly co-produced shows globally.)
For starters, beginning in early 2017, ITV will create a new extended weekend program for ITV2, which will be hosted by young talent and feature scripted and unscripted content from AwesomenessTV.
In addition, 75 hours of AwesomenessTV shows will air on ITV2 and ITV Hub in 2017, increasing to 100 hours in 2018.
ITV Hub will also have exclusive online UK premiere rights to a number of AwesomenessTV shows, marking the first time ITV’s on-demand service will air exclusive original series.
Earlier this year, Verizon purchased 24.5% of AwesomenessTV in an effort to beef up its mobile and video offerings. The US telco giant’s acquisition of the Gen Z-friendly company put AwesomenessTV’s value at US$650 million. This growth followed on the heels of AwesomessTV’s 2015 multi-year content and distribution deal with Endemol Shine Global, which saw the launch of local-language channels owned and operated by AwesomenessTV in a number of international markets, including the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Brazil.