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LoveFilm Ramps Up U.K. Content Ahead of Netflix Launch

Doctor Who TV Still 2011

The Amazon-owned rental and streaming service now has rights to a caltalog including “Doctor Who,” "Spooks” and the original U.K. version of “Prime Suspect.”

LONDON – Amazon-owned LoveFilm moved to boost its U.K. output Friday, announcing archive deals with the BBC and ITV for a roster of shows including Doctor Who, Spooks, Secret Diary of A Callgirl and Inspector Morse.

Lovefilm announced non-exclusive deals with ITV and BBC Worldwide, adding content to a U.K. slate that already includes deals with Warner Brothers, Optimum Films, Sony Pictures Television, and Disney.

The move comes as LoveFilm moves to boost its U.K. content ahead of the planned launch of Netflix in the U.K. later this year.

However, Netflix and LoveFilm face significant competition from free-to-air catch-up TV players platforms like the BBC iPlayer, the ITV Player and Channel 4’s 4OD, which already provide a large amount of content for free.

Although the free platforms currently offer recently broadcast programming only, the soon-to-launch YouView will also offer on-demand archive material from the BBC, Channel 4, ITV and Channel 5, and is expected to be very popular with British viewers, because it is backed by the major networks.