ITV Plays Down Netflix Deal Talks

Netflix - Sign - 2011
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The streaming platform recently signed UK content deals with MGM.

LONDON - ITV has played down suggestions that it is close to a major deal with Netflix, saying “there is nothing to announce at this time.” The broadcaster has responded to reports that it is close to a significant deal with the video-streaming giant, which has seen its share price stumble in recent weeks.

ITV hasn’t denied that it is looking at options for streamed and on-demand comment and that it has talked to a number of players, thought to include Netflix. 

“Part of ITV’s five-year transformation plan is to look at exploiting our content across multiple platforms, free and pay,” a spokeswoman said.

“As you would expect we talk to a number of parties about the best way to do this. There is nothing to announce at this time.”

But sources said that any deal with an online partner would be for library shows and not for fare like the current run of Downton Abbey which are available on ITV’s own internet player.

Netflix shares have lost over 66% of their value since July, after hiking prices and splitting its business. But the company has agreed a slew of deals including a deal earlier this week with MGM for UK streaming rights to movies including The Hobbit and other first-run feature films. It has also signed exclusive North America rights to Lilyhammer, the Norwegian language drama starring Steven Van Zandt.

The Guardian reported that ITV was in ‘advanced discussions” with Netflix and had also held talks with Channel 4 and Warner Brothers.