New ITVX streaming service to launch later this year, replacing existing ITV Hub, Hub+. The service will have free and paid-for versions. Most new ITV programmes will appear on ITVX months before linear TV. Subscribers will get access to BritBox content as well.
As well as “streaming first” exclusives, all the drama and comedy ITV commissions will be made available to viewers in one go on ITVX, for free, as soon as the first episode has aired on ITV’s linear channels. The same will be true of the majority of reality series.
Here are the main points from the announcement:
Streaming first, linear much later
ITVX will premier shows up to nine months before they run on ITV’s traditional linear channels.
- A Spy Among Friends, starring Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce,
- Nolly starring Helena Bonham Carter,
- Confessions of Frannie Langton starring Karla-Simone Spence, Sophie Cookson and Patrick Martins,
- The Little Birds by Lenny Henry
- Litvinenko starring David Tennant
Other premieres for the ITVX streaming service include:
- A feature-length film finale for Plebs.
- Premium documentary The Case Against Cosby
- Natural history series, A Year on Planet Earth.
Pricing and launch date
- The price for a full ITVX subscription is yet to be confirmed.
- A free option including adverts, but without BritBox content will be available (see below).
- An exact launch date is also not yet confirmed. It will launch later this year.
Viewers who subscribe to ITVX will get access to BritBox content, unlocking popular TV from across the decades supplied by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.
ITVX to showcase WarnerMedia shows
In the first of a series of deals to be announced, ITV has concluded a wide ranging content deal with WarnerMedia International Television Distribution for programmes.
ITVX will show UK premieres The Sex Lives of College Girls and All American, as well as The OC, One Tree Hill and select series of The 100, Supernatural and Veronica Mars.
ITVX plans to show 500 films for free in its first year alone, with a constantly refreshed selection of titles and 150 films on the service at any one time.
As with the ITV Hub, ITVX will showcase some of ITV’s best loved shows available on-demand as boxsets.
This will include classics like Brideshead Revisited, documentary series Up and reality show Love Island.
Live sport streaming
Sporting events such as Royal Ascot, Six Nations Rugby and the FIFA World Cup will continue to be available on ITV on traditional TV platforms.
But viewers who prefer to stream will be able to access these and other live events through the ITV live stream on ITVX.
Themed ‘FAST’ channels
FAST (Free, ad-supported television) channels are already commonplace on platforms such as Pluto TV, Rakuten TV and Samsung TV Plus.
They operate like linear channels, but are only available online. They are often highly targeted, specialising in a niche or offering a constant stream of back-to-back episodes of a programme.
ITVX will launch with 20 such channels, including Hell’s Kitchen US, The Oxford Detectives and The Chase. Some of the channels already exist on other FAST platforms. Among the channels will be some pop-up channels that will appear to mark an occasion/event.
ITV2, 3, 4, Be, CITV
ITV’s existing linear channel family will be available to live stream through ITVX.
Until ITVX launches, the ITV Hub remains the streaming home of ITV. It will then be replaced by ITVX.
ITV hasn’t confirmed how existing ITV Hub+ subscriptions will migrate to the ITVX streaming service, or whether users have to sign-up again.
Announcing the new service, Carolyn McCall, ITV’s Chief Executive said:
“The digital acceleration we are announcing today builds on everything we have achieved in phase one of our More Than TV strategy. ITVX will be a free service supported by adverts, with a compelling subscription proposition. This is fantastic for viewers – it will provide a simplified and seamless experience with thousands of hours of free content made up of both library and original exclusive content. The subscription tier will provide a premium offering and includes all of the content ad-free as well as BritBox and future SVOD content partners.
“We are supercharging our streaming business, fundamentally shifting our focus to think digital first, as well as optimising our broadcast channels, by continuing to attract unrivalled mass audiences. In doing so we are responding to changing viewing habits, but also the evolving needs from our advertisers. This will enable ITV to continue to be both commercial viewers and advertisers’ first choice.”