Ah, ITV. Home to This Morning, Love Island and many, many TV shows follow police officers to the beat in northern towns. The network that brought us the legend Alison Hammond is a much-loved British institution, and now it’s being rebranded. Or rather, its on-demand service, with ITVX.
ITV’s existing ITV Hub lags behind its competitors from the BBC and Channel 4 in terms of service, ease of use and seamless streaming. There’s no way to rewind live video, the Smart TV apps are antiquated, and unlike All 4, much of their historical content has been migrated to Britbox’s subscription-based streaming platform.
Where ITV Center has fallen, ITVX comes in its place. But is this something to get excited about, or just an ITV Hub with a new veneer? Ahead of ITVX’s December 8 launch, we’re diving into everything you need to know about ITV’s latest projects.
What is this?
In short, ITVX is it A new and improved home for the perspectives of Coronation Street and the infamous MPs on I’m a Celebrity. But it’s much more than that. Announced in March, ITVX will bring around 15,000 hours of TV at launch, all for free. For comparison, ITV Hub currently hosts around 4,000 hours.
ITVX bills itself as “the UK’s first integrated advertising and subscription (AVOD/SVOD) platform.” Viewers will have the option of free-to-watch with ads, or a paid subscription without. Pay for the ITVX sub will also get access to UK streaming platform BritBox, but we’ll get to that later.
So far, ITV has not announced how much it will charge for subscriptions, but says it will release figures later in 2022.
What can you see?
Naturally, anything that was broadcast on ITV will appear on ITVX. That includes countless dramas, event coverage, box sets, and reality TV. It will also host exclusive themed channels.
However, the big news is that ITV has pledged a £160m budget in 2023 for ITVX exclusives, reports Variety.
ITV has already made a number of new commissions for the platform. This includes dramas Tell me everything Starring Vicki McClure without sinBeside Spy among friends With Damien Lewis. It will all be streamed exclusively on the platform for a period of six to nine months before it airs on ITV.
In what hints at ITV’s future aspirations, the broadcaster has promised that at least one major show will land on ITVX every week. This includes upcoming shows such as NoliExecutive Produced by Sin Writer Russell T Davies Litvinenko Starring David Tennant and Mark Bonnar, period drama Confessions of Franny Langton.
There’s also good news for anyone who’s had to watch Hot Fuzz on ITV2 for the 100th time. ITVX plans to stream 500 films for free in its first year. A constantly selecting selection of titles and 150 movies will be offered on the service at one time.
What about Britbox?
The launch of BritBox in 2019 was met with some concern. After all, the shared streaming service from the BBC and ITV has faced stiff competition from Amazon, Netflix and Disney+. Can Del Boy and The Rovers return the regulars from toe-to-toe with the seniors?
Well, yeah, it kind of surprised a lot of people. BritBox has recently surpassed 733,000 subscribers. But since ITV presents its content internally, what happens to it?
ITV said that ITVX subscribers will “gain access to a growing range of partner content, without ads, and BritBox.” The broadcaster also said that “BritBox will continue to be the independent subscription home for the best British content […] Until later this year (2022), when content on ITV Hub and BritBox will come together in what will be ITV’s new broadcasting home, ITVX. “
It was reported in March, however, that ITV had bought the BBC’s share of BritBox to better integrate it with ITVX. However, BritBox International will remain a 50/50 joint venture between ITV and the BBC.