UK TV network ITV has announced plans for a brand new pay channel on the British satellite Sky platform.

ITV Encore will be ITV's first new channel in eight years and is planned for launch in 2015. From the start it will be dedicated to the broadcaster's premium drama output.

This is part of a four-year partnership with Sky and in a statement ITV pledges to air original dramas featuring "high quality production values, big name lead actors and compelling narratives".

ITV content will also be made available on Sky's range of services, including Sky+HD, Sky Go, NOW TV and Sky Store.

It has yet to be announced whether these services will be available in Ireland, where ITV channels are currently not included in Sky packages.

ITV's Chief Executive, Adam Crozier, said: "A key part of our strategy is to become the most watched, most loved and most talked about family of free and pay channels for every household and every advertiser in the UK.

"ITV's brilliant dramas contributed to a fantastic on-screen performance last year - we had three out of the top five dramas [viewed in the UK] in 2013, which helped us increase our share of viewing on the main channel for the first time in a decade.

"ITV Encore is right in line with our strategy of growing non- advertising revenues while at the same time creating even greater opportunities to showcase new drama."