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20/01/2009

Thousands Of Hours Of ITV Shows On Demand on Virgin Media

ITV and Virgin Media recently announced a deal to make some of the nation's favourite television shows available on demand to Virgin Media's digital TV subscribers with ITV Player, ITV's on demand catch up service.
The agreement will give ITV its largest ever potential on demand audience, with Virgin Media's 3.5 million TV customers able to view over 40 hours of top quality programming from ITV1, 2, 3 and 4 each week.
Popular shows such as 'Coronation Street' and 'Emmerdale' will all be made available for seven days after being broadcast as part of Virgin Media's free Catch Up TV service.
Virgin Media's viewers will also be able to choose from 500 hours of award-winning ITV comedies, documentaries and dramas, all ready to watch at any time on demand. This collection of some of the best of British television will be available as part of Virgin Media's vast library of programmes which sit within its TV Choice section.
A selection of ITV's High Definition (HD) programming will also be available on demand, adding to Virgin Media's growing and popular list of HD content.
In addition, Virgin Media and ITV have also agreed that Virgin Media TV subscribers will be able to watch ITV content online via their computers, providing further viewing options.
The popularity of on demand services is increasing. More than half of Virgin Media's customers regularly use the on demand service. Total viewers of all on demand programmes exceeded 357 million by the end of the first nine months of 2008 and averaged 45 million views each month in the third quarter of last year.
ITV has also seen a rapid rise in users for its on demand offering, with the average number of plays per month more than doubling since the end of the first quarter of 2008. The top three ITV shows in 2008 were 'Coronation Street', 'The X Factor' and 'Emmerdale' in that order.
Malcolm Wall, Chief Executive Officer of Content at Virgin Media, said: "ITV makes some of the country's most loved TV programmes so we're delighted to be able to offer so many of them to our customers. We already have the largest and best collection of entertainment available on demand and adding this vast amount of quality content will make our TV offering more compelling."
Ben McOwen Wilson, Director of Online at ITV, said: "Our ambition is to make our content as widely available for audiences. We are thrilled to be announcing this deal with Virgin Media at a very exciting time for ITV.
"We know Virgin Media's customers consume a lot of content on demand and we are confident that with the massive appetite and growth of on demand content across our online sites during 2008 this deal will allow a new wave of viewers to enjoy our content; in a time when the way our audiences watch TV continues to transform."
(KMcA/BMcC)
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