×

BBC and ITV in Talks to Launch Video Streaming Service

Brit pubcaster BBC is in early-stage discussions with rival channel ITV about launching a Netflix-style subscription video streaming service, according to The Guardian.

The U.K.-based paper said the two channels were looking at developing a subscription TV service that would likely provide older, archive TV content rather than a first-run of shows. But, says the report, there is understood to be a “certain amount” of original commissions. NBC Universal, which is behind programs such as BBC’s “Downton Abbey,” is also understood to be involved in the discussions.

Both the Beeb and commercial broadcaster ITV make their content available to audiences digitally for 30 days. Britons pay £145.50 ($207.95) per year for access to BBC content, including the BBCiPlayer and after content moves off the service, it can be accessed through pay-TV service UKTV, online outlet BBC Store or DVDs and Netflix, the latter of which houses shows like “Top Gear.”

ITV management has talked about ways to exploit its extensive program archive, which includes shows such as “Mr Selfridge,” “Come Dine With Me,” Coronation Street” and “Hell’s Kitchen,” and has noted the success of VoD and streaming services such as Netflix in extending the commercial life of content.

The channel has grown its production arm, ITV Studios, through a series of acquisitions which led to a revenue hike of a third last year to £1.2 billion ($1.7 billion) and a profit increase of 27% to £206 million ($294 million). ITV chief Adam Croizer said earlier this month at the company’s annual results announcement that ITV would continue to build on its “ability to monetise our content online as well as on pay channels.”

BBC director general Tony Hall has made no secret of his goal to tap into new revenue streams and see the channel evolve in the digital age. Last September, he announced that the BBC would be launching a U.S. streaming service in 2016.

Reps for both parties declined to comment.

More TV

  • Pablo Guisa, Pablo Cruz, Enrique López

    Morbido, El Estudio Team on Massive Trans-Atlantic Genre Initiative (EXCLUSIVE)

    Trans-Atlantic Spanish-language production powerhouse El Estudio and Mexico’s Morbido Group have joined forces in the largest genre, horror and fantasy production initiative in the Spanish-speaking world. Feature films, series, remakes and reboots of classic IP and even unscripted programming are all part of the plan going forward for El Estudio and Morbido. Already, the companies [...]

  • Wolfsburg

    Italy's Cross Set for Werewolf Immigrant TV Series 'Wolfsburg' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Italy’s Cross Productions, in which Germany’s Beta Film has a stake, is shopping “Wolfsburg,” a high-end TV series which turns on an Italian immigrant who during the 1960s arrives in the German city of Wolfsburg, headquarters of Volkswagen Group, and morphs into a murderous werewolf. The innovative skein, now in advanced development, is being set up [...]

  • Lincoln Younes

    'Lost Boys' Pilot at CW Casts Lincoln Younes in Kiefer Sutherland Role

    The CW’s revamped (get it?) “Lost Boys” pilot has cast one of its lead roles. Lincoln Younes has been cast in the series as Benjamin, the charismatic leader of the gang of vampires in a seemingly idyllic North Carolina seaside town. Younes’ role is most similar to the role of David in the 1987 film [...]

  • Gary Levine and Jana Winograde Showtime

    Showtime, HBO Broaden Scope as Parent Companies Aim to Grow Their Audiences

    For years, the halo around premium cablers such as HBO and Showtime has been integral to their branding. Their parent companies in a past life — Time Warner and CBS, respectively — seemed to be content with the tens of millions of subscribers each had accumulated. But now, shepherded by new corporate owners — AT&T’s [...]

  • Josh Brolin Dune

    Josh Brolin to Lead Amazon Drama Series 'Outer Range'

    Josh Brolin has found his next role. The “Avengers” and “No Country for Old Men” star has signed on to play the lead role in “Outer Range,” a thriller which received a series order at Amazon. The show was announced as part of the TV overall deal that Amazon signed with Brad Pitt’s Plan B [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content