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Warners’ Vampire Diaries on UK iTunes before broadcast

US drama series The Vampire Diaries is launching on ITV2’s iTunes area before going out on the UK digital channel.

ITV2, the flagship digital channel of UK broadcaster ITV, launched its iTunes area last month and will make episodes of the vampire series available a day after they are broadcast on US network The CW. It will then be transmitted on the TV channel from February.

The first ten episodes have gone out in the US and will be on ITV’s iTunes area from today.

Warner Bros. and ITV said the strategy of putting the show on iTunes before its TV debut is an industry first for a newly acquired series and will build a buzz ahead of the TV premiere and combat piracy.

ITV acquired the series in July as part of a wide-ranging deal with Warners that also saw the UK broadcaster renew Gossip Girl. It is based on a best-selling book from L.J. Smith and the TV series is produced by Kevin Williamson (Scream, Dawson’s Creek).