ITV preps broadband on-demand service

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LONDON -- ITV is following in the footsteps of the BBC and Channel 4 by launching a broadband on-demand service in March, it was announced Wednesday.

Powered by 1,000 hours of archival programming, a 30-day catch-up service and broadband extras from such key shows as "Dancing on Ice," "X Factor" and "Coronation Street," the service is part of a £20 million ($39.2 million) revamp of its Web site, lead by new managing director of broadband Annelies van den Belt.

The former director of new media at the Telegraph newspaper group will be responsible for all aspects of www.itv.com, including advertising, content production and commissioning. She reports to Jeff Henry, head of ITV's consumer division.

Additionally, ITV has appointed Tanya Lidstone as head of customer experience and Steve White as head of technology and is currently recruiting a new team of content specialists.

"Plans for our broadband portal are ambitious and well advanced," Henry said. "Bringing on board an industry leader like Annelies is a hugely significant step. Her skills, combined with the invaluable experience that Tanya and Steve already possess, will ensure that ITV's broadband service is second to none."

Channel 4 launched its broadband media player -- offering a 30-day catch-up service and archived programming -- at the end of last year. The BBC hopes to launch its own service this spring, pending approval for the service from governing body the BBC Trust.
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