Quiz channel ITV Play has been axed by its broadcaster and is to be replaced by a new service.

A statement from ITV said that the decision was a "commercial" one and that ITV2 +1, a channel showing ITV2 programmes one hour behind schedule, would run instead.

The move follows a review by Deloitte into ITV Play after concerns were raised that viewers could be losing out financially through interactive elements of programmes.

Earlier this week the review gave the go-ahead for the channel to return to screens, although ITV has opted to make a change to its broadcasts instead.

"ITV2 is a hugely valuable asset in our digital portfolio," Jonathan Lewis, director of ITV's digital channels, said in a statement.

"We have taken a commercial decision to increase its impact and reach with a plus one channel."

ITV Play content will now be shown overnight on ITV1 and ITV2.

William van Rest, controller of ITV Play, said: "ITV Play programming has proved most popular on ITV1 and ITV2.

"I am delighted that we have been able to return these services following the Deloitte review that viewers are able to continue to enjoy our shows."

At the beginning of March, ITV decided to suspend its premium interactive services following the overcharging of thousands of voters on the last series of The X Factor.

Since then the phone-in sections of Dancing On Ice and This Morning have been cleared for a return to screens along with ITV Play following Deloitte's review.

Television regulator Icstis is carrying out a review of all current and forthcoming interactive elements of programmes from all broadcasters. Channel 4's Richard and Judy and the BBC's Saturday Kitchen are forming part of the focus following a number of allegations about viewers being misled.



14/03/2007 11:11:51