Virgin Media has reached a deal with ITV to offer its digital TV customers access to ITV's on-demand catch up service.
The inclusion of ITV Player in Virgin's free Catch Up TV service will enable its 3.5 million TV subscribers to watch popular shows up to seven days after they are broadcast, as well as access 500 hours of ITV content within its TV Choice section every year.
A selection of ITV's high-definition (HD) programming will also be available on demand, adding to Virgin Media's existing list of HD content.
"ITV makes some of the country's most loved TV programmes, so we are delighted to be able to offer so many of them to our customers," said Malcolm Wall, chief executive of content at Virgin Media.
The two companies have also agreed that Virgin Media TV subscribers will be able to watch ITV content online. Any visitor to ITV's web site can use the ITV Player to stream a selection of shows from the past 30 days, but under the deal Virgin customers will be able to access all the archived on-demand content as well.
"We know that Virgin Media's customers consume a lot of content on demand, and we are confident that, with the massive appetite and growth of on-demand content across our sites during 2008, this deal will allow a new wave of viewers to enjoy our content at a time when the way our audiences watch TV continues to transform," said Ben McOwen Wilson, director of online at ITV.
Virgin customers viewed over 357 million on-demand programmes in the first nine months of 2008, according to the firm, and averaged 45 million views each month in the third quarter of last year.
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