The BBC, ITV and Channel 4 are joining forces to allow viewers to catch up on thousands of hours of TV.
The on-demand service will bring together more than 10,000 hours of the best of the broadcasters’ current and archive programming in one place.
Viewers will be able to catch up on current shows and watch old favourites.
The service, being launched by the BBC’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, as well as ITV and Channel 4, will initially launch as TV on the internet but it is hoped it will eventually be available on TV sets.
Kangaroo starts next year
Some content will be free, while other programmes will be available for rent or to buy.
The three broadcasters currently offer their own separate on-demand services: seven-day catch-up service the BBC iPlayer, ITV.com and Channel 4oD, which will continue to exist.
The service, which has the working title Kangaroo, will be launched next year subject to formal approval from the BBC Trust and the other broadcasters’ boards.
TV on demand
John Smith, Chief Executive Officer of BBC Worldwide, said: ‘This is a historic partnership between the UK’s largest broadcasters.
‘For some time we have wanted to form an alliance with other rights holders in the UK and give viewers an on-demand service with real added value.
‘The new service will contain some of the very best of the UK’s content for consumers to view in one place, which will be both easy to use and great fun. By combining our joint resources we’re really taking control of our destiny in a market that’s moving at a fast pace.’
Michael Grade, Executive Chairman of ITV, said: ‘The joint service has the potential to become an important shop window for UK broadcaster content and a great destination for viewers.
‘The deal is structured so that we each benefit from content being viewed, ensuring that there is significant revenue potential in the growth of the venture for all involved.’
Andy Duncan, Channel 4 Chief Executive, said: ‘TV on the internet is a rapidly growing medium’.
TV on the internet is a rapidly growing medium
Andy DuncanChannel 4 Chief Executive
He went on: ‘We want to continue to build and innovate in this area, giving viewers ultimate control over what they watch and when they watch it, and believe that partnering and sharing expertise is the best way of doing this.
‘We believe this deal will lead to a major step change in the on-demand services offered by UK broadcasters and is good news for independents and the creative community, for advertisers and, above all, for viewers.’
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