SCOTTISH broadcaster, STV, has agreed a deal with Virgin Media which will enable its TV customers across the UK to watch Scotland’s leading commercial Video On Demand service, the STV Player, via their Set Top Box (STB) from this summer.
The STV Player app and catch-up service was integrated into Virgin Media’s STBs for viewers in Scotland in December 2018. This new deal ensures that STV content can be accessed throughout the UK, considerably extending the reach of the Player.
The partnership is a key part of the broadcaster’s strategy to significantly increase the market for its rapidly growing digital streaming platform. Constantly refreshed, quality content and an enhanced user experience has helped accelerate digital growth for STV, with revenues up 60 per cent over the past two years and, already in 2020, digital viewing on the Player up 70 per cent.
Virgin Media is the third connected TV platform the Player is automatically installed on outside of Scotland.
Due to licensing agreements, STV can only broadcast its Channel 3 Network schedule in its broadcast regions in Scotland.
However, over the last 18 months STV has been building up a rich catalogue of UK-wide licensed content on the STV Player and this, alongside a range of STV’s own productions, is now available across the rest of the UK on Virgin, YouView and Freesat – with more platforms to follow.
This summer, Virgin Media viewers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be able to access more than 1,500 hours of content from STV, including high quality drama series, true crime, children’s programming and over 50 box sets, for free.This STV Player-exclusive content is increasingly popular amongst viewers and now constitutes 25 per cent of streams.
Richard Williams, STV’s managing director, Digital, said: “We’re delighted to be working closely with Virgin Media in bringing our ever-increasing Player content offering to more households across the UK. We see significant scope for future digital growth from both our core audience and new audiences, and partnerships such as these are key to delivering such progress.”
David Bouchier, chief Digital Entertainment officer at Virgin Media, said: “STV has a diverse range of programming so it’s great news that all of our customers across the UK can now access its content.”
Upon launch, the STV Player app will be available on compatible Virgin Media STBs, as well as Youview and Freesat boxes. It is also available UK-wide via download from app stores on web, iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, Kindle tablets, Apple TV, Samsung, Fire TV and Roku, Now TV and via Chromecast. STV Player is available in Scotland on Sky.
STV has secured a range of new content partnerships including Endemol Shine International, TCB Media Rights, TVF Media, Hopster, Flame, and Jukin’ to add to their rich and varied inventory and complement the broadcast schedule.
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