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The CITV channel was due to start in 2001 but was axed when Citv lost 25% of its budget. When Steven Andrew become controller of children and youth he he stated No kids strategy is complete without us being able to play in the cable and satellite world. In fact, we can't not do this and ultimately survive as a kids player in the future. In early 2004 ITV finally confirmed it was planning to launch a children’s channel, but as a joint venture. Charles Allen, chief executive of ITV, did not believe in ITV creating a new channel as its was already over-populated market, with talk being held with Nickelodeon and Disney. The plans were dropped 12 months later with ITV instead using its own branding, and using spare Daytime capacity on new ITV4, channel being launch in the autumn 2005. Original new channel, with Nickelodeon dubbed "INK" (ITV Nickelodeon Kids) - would have see the two companies share programmes across each other's networks, unfortunately each side failed to agree on the exact structure of the new venture and how it would be branded. ITV said We just got to the point of thinking that it was more sustainable for us to do it ourselves. The deal fizzled out over a period of time with Nickelodeon described the decision to end the talks as a "mutual backing away".

The original launch date of the channel was set for November 2005, to co-side with the launch of ITV4 but was healed back till 11 February. As a result of problems "clearing the digital rights to children's programming" and "comprehensive" re-branding, it was again pushed back by another four weeks Promos for the channel began on 20 February, including an online countdown clock, running to the channel's launch date. As has become standard for Freeview channel launches, the channel was allocated an EPG number well before transmission started. Initially, a static 'coming soon' graphic was shown, followed by a preview video loop running from late February 2006 until the launch. The channel launched on 11 March 2006 at 09:25, replacing the ITV News Channel on Freeview, Homechoice (now known as TalkTalk TV) and Telewest. It also launched on Sky on 8 May 2006 and NTL on 6 June. Additionally, the channel simulcasts CITV Breakfast (previously known as GMTV2, which was originally broadcast on ITV2, then ITV4)) on weekdays between 06:00 and 09:25.

The channel broadcasts daily from 06:00 to 18:00 and previously time-shared with ITV4 until 5 February 2008 when ITV4 expanded its broadcast hours to become a full 24 hour channel. As a consequence, it moved to the multiplex space on Freeview originally held by ABC1 from English and Scottish transmitters and S4C from Welsh transmitters, this meant that viewers of the latter were unable to receive the channel on Freeview unless they could receive transmissions from England. On 9 January 2012, a change in the Forward error correction mode on the multiplex allowed CITV to broadcast in Wales on Freeview.On 2 November 2009, the channel was relaunched, with a new logo and new branding to match ITV1 as part of ITV plc's corporate look. The channel's preschool strand was given a dramatic overhaul, and renamed Mini CITV. Mini CITV is hosted by a group of spacemen-like beings called the Minis, who oversee presentation items on the channel. With the exception of weekends and holidays, Mini CITV now takes up the majority of output on the channel.

Current programmingEdit

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