Published on July 27th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson2
ITV to pull Netflix content on hints of a future UK streaming service
With the success of Britbox in the U.S. and Canada on Apple TV, British broadcaster ITV is preparing to pull its library of content from Netflix in Great Britain only and possibly launch in the U.K a joint subscription streaming venture with the BBC and Channel 4.
ITV’s chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall confirmed Tuesday that the broadcaster is ready to remove its archive from the streaming giant over the coming years. Programs produced by ITV Studios that might disappear over time from Netflix in Great Britain could include Unforgotten, Happy Valley, Marcella and Endeavour to name just a few of many.
Although she would not confirm or deny ITV is working on creating a domestic streaming service around much of that content, she all but hinted such a product is in the offing. McCall said one goal of ITV will be focusing its future on creating a direct-to-consumer business with a $78.6 million investment over the next three years.
“If we are developing (a) subscription (service) we have to develop it effectively,” she said. “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.”
McCall would not discuss ITV’s current relationship with Netflix, nor would she confirm reports from various sources that the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 are in “early conversations” about being part of a possible new streaming service. The talks are also thought to involve NBC Universal, the U.S. TV and film group that made Downton Abbey.
The BBC, AMC and ITV already operate the BritBox streaming service in North America. Sources say one possibility is expanding the existing BritBox service into the U.K. market and turning it into a subscription on-demand service.
It’s not out of the question that certain content from ITV streaming on Netflix in the U.S. could also be removed and moved to the American Britbox service to improve its offerings.