ITV offers international access to soaps

Editor | 13-11-2013

Sating the cross-border appetite of ex-pats and those for whom catch-up is not enough, ITV has launched Essentials, a new service offering access to soaps while abroad.

The launch forms part of ITV's on-going strategy to test new business models and deliver content to viewers in new and exciting ways as well as to drive new revenue streams by exploiting content across multiple platforms.

Initially available in a Wi-Fi only form, ITV Essentials will stream all episodes of Britain’s favourite soaps - Coronation Street and Emmerdale - without ads and will include a 30 day catch-up window. Offers at a monthly subscription of €5.49, service is available immediately in Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Gibraltar, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Spain.

“This is a landmark deal for ITV,” proclaimed ITV’s Controller of Pay and Distribution, Neale Dennett. “We are thrilled that we can now deliver the UK’s favourite soaps to the millions of British fans living and visiting abroad.”

ITV Essentials was created in partnership with over the top (OTT) management and delivery specialist Saffron Digital, described by Dennett as “the perfect partner” to bring ITV’s ambitions to life. Using its MainStage video platform, Saffron Digital’s end-to-end solution includes DRM, a secure player, international geo-blocking and filtering, as well as payment and subscription management.

Commented Saffron Digital President Jason Keane: ““ITV is such an iconic British brand so we’re really excited to be a part of its first international service launch. ITV Essentials will enable British holidaymakers and ex-pats to subscribe to two of the nation’s leading soaps while they’re in Europe. ITV is one of the first customers on our new Stage platform and we have worked closely with the ITV team to align it to their international strategy.”