The Drum Awards Festival - Official Deadline

-d -h -min -sec


BBC holding talks with ITV and NBC over plans to launch Netflix-style service


By Rebecca Stewart, Trends Editor

March 10, 2016 | 2 min read

The BBC is reportedly considering partnering with rivals, including ITV, to launch a Netflix-style subscription video service.

BBC in talks to launch Netflix rival

The broadcaster is understood to have held talks with ITV and NBC Universal about developing a streaming platform centered around archive content rather than first-runs, according to the Guardian. This means shows such as Sherlock (pictured) and Downton Abbey could be made available for viewers to binge watch.

It's thought that the new product would also debut a number of original commissions; a scheme which could help the BBC claw back some of the younger viewers it looks to have lost to cutbacks.

While both BBC and ITV have catch-up services, content is only available on the sites for a limited time after its initial broadcast. A combined service offering a wider selection of shows could help extend the commercial life of content for both networks.

Netflix now has over 75 million subscribers worldwide, thanks to a major global expansion which has seen it launch in 130 new countries at the start of 2016.

Multiple sources have claimed the plan is still in the "explore and evaluate" stage, and will fit in with director general Tony Hall's "open BBC" promise – designed to refocus the corporation for the digital age.

A government report released last week (3 March) revealed plans to close the iPlayer loophole would be brought forward due to it's unfairness on the broadcaster.


More from BBC

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +