ITV sticks by video on demand plans

ITV has said it is pleased with its video on demand operations despite being accused of lagging behind.

In a review of its 2007 performance released today the broadcaster commended its relaunch of last year. The site now carries simulcasts of all its channels, a 30-day catch-up service and archive material.

The broadcaster's on demand offerings have come under fire, especially as the BBC's iPlayer attracted a huge amount of users after Christmas. Use of ITV's dedicated VOD player trails the iPlayer and 4oD by some way, though streams from its website appear to be stronger.

Unlike the other two ITV also does not provide on-television VOD content to Virgin and BT Vision.

However, in a review of operations released with its 2007 results today the broadcaster appears to be sticking to its strategy. It will provide archive programming through Kangaroo which it is developing jointly with Channel 4 and the BBC to launch later this year.

"The service will bring together over ten thousand hours of the UK broadcastersí current and archive programming from the UKís three leading broadcasters," ITV said. "Content will be available to be both streamed and downloaded with viewers able to watch for free, rent or buy.

"Going forward, will provide access to catch-up programming and clips, and will carry exclusive simulcasts of ITV channels, whilst the joint venture broadband service will be the home of the ITV archive."

It said's relaunch brought "substantial growth, with unique users per calendar month breaking through the 6m barrier for November. Moving forward, is developing key partnerships with other online players and the first exclusive made-for-broadband commissions".

ITV added that its broadband service had been available across the UK since October and in December recorded more than 750,000 unique users. It said terrestrial "has always faced limitations in delivering at the sub-regional and local levels" while "broadband delivery faces no such technical limitations".

The broadcaster's online revenues increased by £10m to £33m last year but overall it lost money because of investment in the websites.