Online archive service to be dropped from ITV Player

Thunderbirds ITC

A report today suggests that ITV is to drop the pay to view archive content from its website after it failed to bring in enough revenue.

Broadcast report today that the online video rental service has failed to attract sufficient demand from customers for classic programmes and older paid for catch-up content. ITV Player began to offer the rental service in 2012 with recent watch-again series such as The Only Way Is Essex, Downton Abbey and Above Suspicion sitting alongside archive classics such as ATV’s Sapphire and Steel (1979-82), LWT’s A Fine Romance (1981-84) and Central TV’s Soldier, Soldier (1991-97)

“The service has a flexible pricing model, with shows costing 99p or more to download…However, ITV has not seen significant take-up and will email registered users today informing them that the service will be shut down on July 31st, at which point they will have 30 days to watch any content they have paid for, but not viewed.” – Broadcast

The demise of ITV Player Rental comes about at a time the company note other options have proved more successful in the never-ending search for big profit. ITV content available via services such as Amazon Prime have proved a more lucrative option. It isn’t the first time archive content has been dropped from ITV.com. The ‘Best of ITV’ section which offered sections such as drama and soap was ditched in 2009. The site offered a small sample of classic episodes for free of shows such as Emmerdale Farm, Crossroads and Classic Coronation Street.

“Trials have shown that subscriptions are more popular than pay-per-view and that’s why we’re trialling more subscription products,” – Adam Crozier quoted in Broadcast

The BBC is due to open its own pay-per-view archive later this year. Pictured top: 1960s children’s series Thunderbirds is one of the archive series on ITV Player Rental.

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