ITV and MGM International Television Distribution Inc. (MGM), a subsidiary of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer have agreed an exclusive, multi-year agreement to bring the legendary James Bond film catalogue, including the latest instalment, Skyfall, to viewers in the UK.
All 23 films in the franchise will be available for free on commercial PSB channel ITV. The multi-year deal marks a return of the Bond catalogue to ITV, where the films can been seen across ITV, ITV2, and ITV4. BSkyB April 2012 secured an exclusive deal for the library, which marked the departure of the franchise from ITV. The broadcaster’s existing agreement with the distributor, signed in 2010, closed that August.
ITV had screened the movies since Dr No made its UK small-screen début in 1975 and they still performed well across the broadcaster’s family of channels. The free-to-air première of Quantum Of Solace drew 5.16 million (22.87 per cent share) viewers in 2011. ITV will also have the free-to-air première of the blockbuster Skyfall, which is slated to air on the channel in 2014.
ITV’s Director Digital Channels and Acquisitions, Angela Jain said that Skyfall was the highest grossing film of all time at the UK Box Office and proved not only the enduring popularity of the Bond franchise but also its iconic status. “I am delighted we have the entire Bond library of films on Britain’s biggest commercial channel, a fantastic treat for all viewers.”
“MGM is thrilled to partner again with ITV to bring James Bond home to UK audiences,“ said Chris Ottinger, President, International Television Distribution & Acquisitions, MGM. “The Bond franchise is a jewel in the MGM library and we are delighted to share the films with the viewers across the United Kingdom.”
The recapturing of the Bond rights follows the blow the broadcaster suffered November 9 with the loss of its rights to a share of European Champions League Football from the 2015-16 season.