MX23RW : Wednesday, August 5 08:59:27| >> :600:619723:619723:

Mysterious new ITV channel Merit to go live on Wednesday

Mysterious new ITV channel Merit to go live on Wednesday
© ITV
ITV's new cookery and gardening channel Merit will go live this Wednesday with zero fanfare.

ITV's new Freeview channel Merit will go live for the first time on Wednesday evening.

The station appeared on Freeview channel 34 earlier this month alongside a 'coming soon' message.

Curiously, the channel has received no publicity, does not appear to have the ITV brand and has limited broadcast hours of 8pm to 11pm.

TV listings for Merit reveal that it will launch this Wednesday at 8pm with a schedule of just three shows - gardening series Britain's Best Back Gardens and cookery programmes The Hungry Sailors and Callie-Anne Cooks into the Wild.

The scheduling slots also seem to suggest that the channel will not carry advertising.

The service could be a pop-up experiment to test the appetite for a lifestyle channel or a more cynical move to enable ITV to retain the lucrative channel 34 spot on Freeview.

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