ITVX, the upcoming streaming service from ITV, is set to become the largest free (with adverts) digital VOD home of anime content in the UK, thanks to a new deal with Glaswegian-based Anime Ltd.
The collection, which extends to over 500 episodes and 200 hours, will include the critically acclaimed Cowboy Bebop, Escaflowne, Lupin III Part 6 and more.
In addition, a newly announced agreement with CBS Reality will bring 200 hours of true crime content to ITVX at launch, with a further 50 hours in 2023.
These are in addition to the 9,000 hours of free on-demand content, that ITVX will include at launch, including 35 flagship shows, 200+ series and 250+ films.
ITVX is the upcoming replacement to ITV’s long-running streaming app, ITV Hub. It will feature a total of 15,000 hours of content, including BritBox’s titles (as it’s being folded into ITVX), with new shows launching on the service every week, often months before their broadcast on ITV’s linear channels.
According to ITV, the move from ITV Hub to ITVX is “a move from a catch-up service to a full-blown streaming service” – something that will let ITV compete with the likes of Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon’s Prime Video.
The service will be free with adverts – but will also include a paid “Premium” tier that will remove the adverts – and add BritBox to the mix.
ITVX is set to launch “just in time for FIFA World Cup”, sometime in November 2022.
New Anime And Reality Content
The deals that were announced this week will bring 400 hours of anime and true crime shows to ITVX.
According to ITV, these agreements also mark “the first advertising revenue-sharing deals for ITV”. However, we confirmed with ITV that premium subscribers on ITVX will continue to get the content without adverts, even with these 3rd party content categories.
The deal with Anime Ltd, which is the largest independent anime licensor in the UK, will include a mixture of over twenty TV series and films.
The collection will include Escaflowne, Lupin III Part 6, Megalobox, Cowboy Bebop directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, and the seminal directorial debut of Hideaki ANNO, Gunbuster, as well as many more not currently available on any other local platforms.
Andrew Partridge, president and CEO of Anime Ltd. said:
“We could not be more pleased than to team up with ITV in our efforts to share world-class Japanese animation with new audiences and lifelong fans across the United Kingdom.
“With a diverse lineup of anime from some of the most impressive minds in television and film, ITVX promises to be an essential destination for anyone interested in the medium.”
The second agreement involves the launch of a True Crime UK from CBS Reality category on ITVX. Drawing from the library of CBS Reality, the #1 factual entertainment channel in the UK amongst adult women, the service will provide ITVX with an additional 200 hours of true crime content.
The collection includes fan favourites such as Descent of a Serial Killer, four series presented by renowned investigative journalist and criminologist Donal MacIntyre, two series of The Real Prime Suspect hosted by former detective Jackie Malton – the inspiration behind acclaimed drama series Prime Suspect – and New Scotland Yard Files, all of which are original programmes from the CBS Reality library.
Three series of the highly popular show, Medical Detectives (also known as Forensic Files) will also be made available alongside much more.
ITV’s Director of Content Partnerships, Streaming, Laura Franses said: “We are delighted to announce our first wave of deals with Anime Ltd and CBS AMC Networks UK Channels Partnership for True Crime UK from CBS Reality – with more to follow.
“These deals herald a new business model and opening up of the ITVX platform enabling us to bring hundreds of hours of 3rd party content to new and existing ITVX users”.