In a further meeting of the worlds of traditional broadcasting and online video, ITV is set to take the wraps off a new channel, 2Awesome, as part of a collaboration with leading US MCN AwesomenessTV.
AwesomenessTV was founded by Brian Robbins, producer of Smallville and One Tree Hill, and has become a leading global youth brand creating new drama, comedy and entertainment series for platforms including Verizon, Netflix and Hulu, working with some of YouTube's most successful content creators. In April 2016, Verizon took a minority stake in the channel.
The new 2Awesome service will launch on 10 December and will see the UK’s leading commercial broadcaster offer exclusive UK premieres of the global youth brand’s long-form premium series as part of a two-hour ITV2 show on Sunday afternoons. Hosted by UK presenters from both TV and social media, 2Awesome will also have a permanent home on the ITV Hub and will unveil UK premieres of some of AwesomenessTV’s most popular programmes, including dramas, comedies and docu-reality shows.
The partnership will also see AwesomenessTV and the current production powerhouse ITV Studios join forces to co-produce scripted and unscripted programmes for ITV2, starting in 2017. ITV Global Entertainment will license these newly co-produced shows in international markets.
Commenting on the launch, Simon Pitts, managing director of online, pay TV and interactive at ITV, said: “2Awesome is a really exciting development for ITV2 and the ITV Hub and the first step in our partnership with AwesomenessTV to produce, broadcast and distribute new shows for youth audiences. We can’t wait to launch our first exclusive series on the ITV Hub in December, followed in January by the initial 2Awesome run on ITV2 featuring new presenters and a whole slate of new shows, with plenty more to come throughout the year.”
Added AwesomenessTV founder and CEO Brian Robbins: “Our partnership with ITV is a wonderful opportunity to not only distribute our content but also create it together and extend our brand further in the UK. I am looking forward to the launch of our series on the ITV platforms and continuing to grow the reach of our global audience.”