ITV, the major commercial UK broadcaster, has revealed a new broadband service allowing users to watch all their favourite shows from ITV channels for free.
The new ITV.com will feature live streaming and an exclusive 30 day catch up service, so you don’t need to worry if you miss your favourite program. The site will also include archive programming and unique online material such as exclusive video previews, interviews and behind-the-scene specials from some of their top shows, including Coronation Street and Heartbeat.
“We are combining the best of TV with the best of the web to create a service unrivalled by any other commercial broadcaster, anywhere in the world,” said executive chairman Michael Grade. “Some are already streaming their channels, some are providing catch-up, and some building their archive, but ITV.com will provide all three. This launch is a major step in ITV’s development.”
There is no sign currently how many TV programmes will be available by the end of the year, but ITV hopes to have 20,000 hours of archived programming available online. This will include programs such as Inspector Morse, Poirot and other drama favourites – plus classic comedy, kids shows and documentaries.
The BBC intends to provide a similar service later this year, however their programmes are thought to be download-only whereas ITV’s are streamed meaning no delay in waiting for your programme. ITV’s programmes will also be free due to advertising streamed within the programme.
Both Channel 4 and Five have released their own video on-demand services, however they charge for individual downloads. Channel 4 has now moved to making much of its programming available for free within seven days of transmission.
There is no news yet as to when ITV will launch the new ITV.com.