ITV launches international pay platform

November 13, 2013 09.49 Europe/London By Julian Clover

peter-carla-coronation-stITV is launching a new international service that will make it possible for ex-pats and holiday makers to watch their favourite soaps while abroad.

ITV Essentials has been created in partnership with OTT management and delivery specialists, Saffron Digital. It will be available in 12 European territories for a monthly subscription of €5.49.

All episodes of popular soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale will be streamed without ads and will include a 30 day catch up window. The service will initially be Wi-Fi only.

ITV’s Controller of Pay and Distribution, Neale Dennett, said: “This is a landmark deal for ITV. We are thrilled that we can now deliver the UK’s favourite soaps to the millions of British fans living and visiting abroad. In Saffron Digital we have found the perfect partner to bring these ambitions to life.”

Using its MainStage video platform, Saffron Digital has designed and developed the service for simultaneous launch in the 12 different territories. The end to end solution which includes DRM, a secure player, international geo blocking and filtering, as well as payment and subscription management, will enable ITV to deliver a seamless experience to its viewers throughout Europe.

Saffron Digital’s President, Jason Keane said: “This is an elegant solution to finding ways to reach more soap fans across Europe. ITV have really raised the bar with this initiative and we are thrilled to be the launch partner on this unique service.”

The launch comes just weeks after BBC Worldwide announced it was abandoning its International iPlayer. ITV is testing a number business models and strategies across multiple platforms.