ITV is to launch a new lifestyle channel called 'Merit' on Freeview.
The new service will offer a mix of cookery and gardening programming and will be on the air between the hours of 9pm and midnight daily.
The launch is highly unusual, given the lack of publicity or ITV branding, limited broadcast hours and apparent restriction of availability to Freeview only.
Viewers will need to manually retune their Freeview devices in order to receive Merit, which is available from today on channel 34 across the UK with a "coming soon" message attached.
The move marks the broadcaster's foray into the lifestyle TV channel market since the launch of Granada's services in the late 1990s.
ITV has been approached for comment.