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BBC, ITV, NBCU ‘have discussed’ Netflix rival

Downton_group3UK pubcaster the BBC has had talks with ITV and NBCUniversal about a streaming service that would rival the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video, according to The Guardian.

The UK newspaper says the service would be largely built on library content, but there would be some originals.

Both the BBC and ITV offer content on a 30-day catch-up basis, and NBCUniversal recently announced the launch of Hayu, a reality-programmed streaming service for the UK, Ireland and Australia.

Crucially, NBCU controls the rights to Downtown Abbey, and the hit period drama would be a valuable addition to any new streaming service.

BBC Worldwide’s top titles include Doctor Who, Sherlock and Top Gear, while ITV Studios has Mr Selfridge and entertainment shows including Come Dine with Me.

The BBC also recently launched BBC Store, a download-to-own service that allows consumers to buy its shows. This currently offers shows on a transactional basis that are out of the free catch-up window.

ITV updated its online video offer, ITV Player, last year, replacing it with more comprehensive platform called ITV Hub.

Netflix, the SVOD leader in the UK, also buys content from BBC Worldwide, ITV Studios and the Hollywood studios, of which NBCU is one.

The Guardian says the BBC-ITV-NBCU plans are at an “explore and evaluate” stage.

ITV said it didn’t comment on speculation.

BBC Worldwide said: “There is always speculation about what we might or might not do on all sorts of things, but we never comment on such speculation.”