Tuesday, 8th November 2011, 17:22:42
Broadcaster ITV is currently in advanced talks with video streaming service Netflix regarding a new output deal in time for the US company's imminent UK and Ireland launch.
Expected to spur furious bidding wars for the digital rights to films and TV programmes, the UK introduction of Netflix is said to have already seen discussions with well-known companies such as Warner Bros and Channel 4, reports the Guardian.
Aiming to expand its UK film and TV offering, the company is yet to take negotiations to a stage as advanced as those with ITV, while a deal with Lionsgate - which owns the rights to films such as Kick Ass, Rambo and Saw - is also said to be underway.
Additionally, Netflix has reportedly discussed a potential deal with Momentum Pictures, which includes releases The King's Speech, Stieg Larsson's Millenium trilogy and Lost in Translation.
Yesterday (November 7th), Netflix unveiled its first deal in the UK and Ireland market, while securing the exclusive rights to films from MGM. As a result, the organisation will have access to the upcoming two-film Hobbit series created by Peter Jackson and the remake of 1980s cop movie 21 Jump Street.
The move has reportedly spurred rival firms, including LoveFilm, BSkyB and YouTube, to battle for digital rights, which marks a positive period for film rights owners.
A source told the newspaper: "While TV shows get massive viewing [on demand] the real money lies in striking deals with rights holders to films."
This comes after a report carried out by competitive intelligence firm Experian Hitwise last month revealed a 36 per cent year-on-year increase in the popularity of video websites, with users making 785 million visits in September alone.
Commenting on the results, James Murray - marketing research analyst at Experian Hitwise - said: "There are now more visits to video websites every month than to email providers, travel or sports sites, which represents a huge opportunity to the savvy marketer."
Posted by Phil Williams
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