ITV reports £97m profit as it moves into pay-TV

ITV said it will move into pay-television through a deal with Sky to launch high definition versions of its some of its digital channels.

The broadcaster unveiled the plans as it announced a half-year profit of £97m.

ITV2 HD, ITV3 HD, and ITV4 HD will launch as part of Sky+HD's subscription package of channels in autumn 2010.

The channels will be available to all homes subscribing to a Sky+HD subscription.

ITV2 HD will launch in October for the start of The Xtra Factor, with ITV3 HD and ITV4 HD launching shortly after.

Meanwhile advertising revenues at the broadcaster for the six months to the end of June were up 18 per cent on the same period the year before.

Net debt dropped to £437m from £612m at end of the year.

Adam Crozier, chief executive of ITV plc, said: "The good financial performance we have reported today has enabled us to reduce our debt significantly but does not disguise the underlying challenges we face. We are under no illusion that ITV needs to change substantially."