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The station was launched jointly by Granada, Carlton Communications and United News and Media (now UBM plc) as a free to air service although it is now ultimately owned by ITV plc who were formed by an effective by-out, although it was classified as a merger of Granada and Carlton in 2004.
The high ratings and presence Coronation Street enjoyed in ITV in 1998 as well as its commercial advantage to the company meant that the station was the main player as regards repeat transmissions of recently shown episodes of the programme. This also overcame the problems encountered by Granada in trying to interest the other ITV stations then in existence in showing weekend omnibuses in the style of EastEnders. Although all of the ITV stations had begun a weekend showing of that week’s instalments of Coronation Street in January 1989, one by one they lost interest with regions such as London dropping the repeats altogether at the start of 1996.
ITV2+1, a timeshift channel which shows the same output but one hour later was launched on 30th October 2006. This also showed the same Coronation Street episodes as the main channel but in the time-shifted slot.
ITV2 is also notable for hosting the first-time transmission of fourteen episodes of the programme in 2000 and 2001 when the usual 7.30pm timeslot on ITV1 was not available due to coverage of live football. These are the only instances in the programme’s history when the debut transmission of an episode did not take place on the main channel. ITV1 did show the episodes later on the same evening. The episodes in question were:
- Episode 4944 (6th December 2000)
- Episode 4986 (14th February 2001)
- Episode 4990 (21st February 2001)
- Episode 4998 (7th March 2001)
- Episode 5014 (4th April 2001)
- Episode 5030 (2nd May 2001)
- Episode 5042 (23rd May 2001)
- Episode 5111 (12th September 2001)
- Episode 5115 (19th September 2001)
- Episode 5120 (26th September 2001)
- Episode 5129 (10th October 2001)
- Episode 5133 (17th October 2001)
- Episode 5139 (24th October 2001)
- Episode 5144 (31st October 2001)
- ITV2 repeats in 1998
- ITV2 repeats in 1999
- ITV2 repeats in 2000
- ITV2 repeats in 2001
- ITV2 repeats in 2002
- ITV2 repeats in 2003
- ITV2 repeats in 2004
- ITV2 repeats in 2005
- ITV2 repeats in 2006
- ITV2 repeats in 2007
- ITV2 repeats in 2008
- ITV2 repeats in 2009
- ITV2 repeats in 2010
- ITV2 repeats in 2011
- ITV2 repeats in 2012
- ITV2 repeats in 2013
- ITV2 repeats in 2014
- ITV2 repeats in 2015
- ITV2 repeats in 2016