ITV has launched ITV Essentials, an international subscription catch-up service that allows viewers to watch the UK broadcaster’s two most popular soaps from outside of the UK.
At launch itvessentials can be accessed in twelve European countries for a monthly subscription fee of €5.49 (US$7.37). Customers, who will need a WiFi connection, can then watch commercial-free episodes of long-running soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale.
The service comes as ITV attempts to diversify beyond its largest single revenue generator, TV advertising in the UK. The OTT service was created Saffron Digital and utilises the technology company’s MainStage video platform.
ITV’s controller of pay and distribution, Neale Dennett, said: “This is a landmark deal for ITV. We are thrilled that we can now deliver the UK’s favourite soaps to the millions of British fans living and visiting abroad.”
Saffron Digital’s president, Jason Keane said: “This is an elegant solution to finding ways to reach more soap fans across Europe. ITV have really raised the bar with this initiative.”
At launch the service is available in: Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Gibraltar, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain
Both iPad and iPhone specific versions of the service are coming soon, ITV said.