ITV Player Catch-Up Service Proves Popular on Virgin Media's VOD Platform
UK cable operator, Virgin Media, said Monday that ITV Player, the catch-up service originally launched on the Web by UK commercial terrestrial broadcaster, ITV (note: ITV is an acronym for Independent Television Network), generated over 4 million on-demand views in the first full month after its launch on Virgin's VOD platform. According to Virgin Media, the most popular ITV Player shows on its platform in March were "Coronation Street," "Emmerdale," "The Jeremy Kyle Show," "Dancing on Ice" and "Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway." "We are really excited by the early success of ITV Player on Virgin Media's TV platform," Ben McOwen Wilson, ITV's director of online, said in a prepared statement. "The popularity of our key genres--entertainment, daytime and drama--shows how we're bringing the very best of ITV programming to new audiences, on-demand, online and on your TV. We look forward to building on this success."
Virgin Media--which also offers catch-up services from the BBC, Channel 4, E4, More4, Bravo UK, Living and Virgin1--claims that the 4 million views generated by the ITV Player service helped make March a record-breaking month for its VOD service: according to the company, the service generated 58 million views that month (compared to 56 million views last December), and 54% of its TV customers are now accessing its on-demand programming on a regular basis.
Both the online and the TV versions of the ITV Player service offer around 40 hours of catch-up programming from ITV's ITV1, 2, 3 and 4 channels each week. The broadcaster claims that its soap operas and light entertainment programming do especially well on the service, but also says that a number of its classic titles, including "Auf Wiedersehen, Pet" and "Cracker," are proving popular. ITV also offers a selection of comedies, documentaries and dramas on Virgin Media's TV Choice VOD service: it has undertaken to provide 500 hours of programming to the service this year.