LoveFilm closes deals with BBC and ITV

In a major announcement, that is set to shake up the TV rights industry in the United Kingdom, Amazon backed LoveFilm has signed deals with the BBC and ITV for its current and archive TV shows including Life on Mars, Spooks and Above Suspicion.

“We’ve had a content partnership with LoveFilm for several years now and it’s great to see this evolve digitally,” said Lisa Rousseau, head of UK and Ireland sales and distribution at BBC Worldwide.

The deal comes at a critical time, because of the impending launch of US Video-on demand subscription company Netflix in the United Kingdom. LoveFilm has also closed out a deal with ITV, which provides its subscribers with access to shows such as Marchlands and Inspector Morse. LoveFilm also announced that ITV content will be available to users on gadgets like PC, Apple iPad, Xbox 360’s, IPTV’s and Sony PS3.

“We are delighted to be working with LoveFilm to bring a wide range of ITV’s best-loved programmes to their subscribers,” said Martin Goswami, ITV’s director of pay and distribution.

LoveFilm offers its services through LoveFilm Instant. It offers TV and movie content from broadcasters raging from Disney, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures to Warner Bros. The 1,500,000 subscribers of LoveFilm make it the single-largest provider of Video-on-demand services in UK.

The last couple of months have seen some frenetic activity with both competitors; Netflix and LoveFilm, edging each other to bring corporations on board. While LoveFilm signed on the dotted line with Sony Television for films like The Social Network and Salt, Netflix added BBC Worldwide to its kitty. Later, LoveFilm also signed up BBC Worldwide to its ever-growing list.

In anticipation of its UK release, Netflix signed up Lionsgate, MGM, Miramax and, most recently, the BBC. It is also believed negotiations are on with ITV to rope them in; however no official confirmation has been received.

LoveFilm has also splashed the cash on marketing since the announcement of Netflix’s UK venture, with a variety of TV and billboard ads. They are also keen to keep the price range in between £5.99 to £14.99 a month, fearing backlash over its competitor’s arrival. Competition is always great for the consumer, so amidst all the mayhem it’s the subscriber who is in a win-win situation.

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