ITV could remove programmes such as Victoria and Broadchurch from Netflix as it plans to invest in its own streaming service.
Dame Carolyn McCall, ITV’s chief executive, said yesterday that the broadcaster is ready to pull its archive from the streaming giant over the coming years as she confirmed a three-year, £60 million investment in plans for its own competitor streaming service, possibly in conjunction with the BBC and Channel 4.
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Speaking yesterday, McCall said that in the future viewers “won’t be getting them on Netflix because we have the UK rights”.
“If we are developing subscription we have to develop it effectively,” she added in a conference call as ITV unveiled its half-yearly results.
A withdrawal of ITV’s shows from Netflix would not happen immediately but would occur over time as current contracts expire, ITV sources confirmed.
ITV has been in talks over the past year with the BBC and Channel 4 about a joint subscription streaming service. However, none of the parties have given any indication of whether the collaboration is likely or what it would mean for other British content on services like Amazon and Netflix.
McCall said that ITV’s £60 million investment in streaming plans came on the back of the success of ITV Hub, which has enjoyed a bumper year according to its latest results. Viewing on the site jumped six-fold, mainly on the back of Love Island and the World Cup.
“We have said we have an intent to do something in that space because we think it’s an opportunity and our research indicates there is demand for that distinctive, unique British content that consumers are willing to pay for,” she said.
The BBC acknowledge that it is also in talks with its UK competitors about a British streaming service and is ready to cooperate with its traditional rivals, thought to include Channel 4 as well as ITV and Peppa Pig makers Entertainment One.
“We can do a lot globally for the UK,” said director general Tony Hall at the BBC’s launch of its annual report earlier this month. He wouldn’t discuss the nature of negotiations with the other broadcasters but did confirm they were happening.
“We shouldn’t moan about the success of Amazon, Apple, Netflix et al,” he said, “but we must do everything we can which is stand up for a pubic service broadcasting ecology.”