If you’ve been keeping tabs on the BBC over the last few months, you may already know that the company has been making preliminary plans to get a subscription streaming service off of the ground. Now, it seems as if the streaming service is finally moving forward, but there is a big twist. Apparently, the BBC is in talks with rival company ITV to make content available for streaming.
Currently in the UK there’s a deal for citizens to pay £145.50 to stream current BBC content, which disappears after 30 days. The new streaming service is not intended to be an extension of this, at all. Instead, it’s expected to be an entirely separate thing, focusing on older, syndicated BBC content, according to the Guardian. If it moves forward, subscribers would have access both companies' backlogs.
Both ITV and the BBC have done a good business with syndicated content. In more recent years, subscription streaming services like Netflix and others have helped viewers to maintain interest in shows over a longer range of time, as well. So, putting together a plan to feature both BBC and ITV content could potentially be good for both companies along with a slew of users—especially if programming can be pushed out in parts of the world outside of the UK. Global licensing is the new name in the TV business game.
The company has been making moves to reacquire syndicated content, which seems in line with opening a streaming service. About a month ago, Netflix’s deal regarding Doctor Who content ended, which means that fans who were powering through the classic Doctor Who or the continuation of Doctor Who led by Steven Moffat lost out on the episodes. Considering the BBC wants to make its own content available for streaming, it’s not a huge surprise that a show as popular as Doctor Who could eventually become exclusive to the TV service.
It’s a little strange that the BBC and ITV would be teaming up for a streaming service. Outside of big services like Netflix or Hulu, most other available subscription streaming services have been network-centric, including CBS All Access or HBO Now. The two companies are responsible for a large chunk of the intriguing TV content that comes out of the UK. However, this isn’t the first time the two companies have tried to get a project like this off of the ground. Back in 2007, the BBC and ITV joined forces for Project Kangaroo, which would have been an early entry into the online TV game, had it capably moved forward. It did not, but now that streaming services are becoming more and more prominent, this could be a good financial fit for both companies.
We’ll let you know if the BBC and ITV eventually combine forces. In the meantime, you can find out what other programming TV has coming up, here.