ITV Studios outlines FAST channel strategy

Graham Haigh

Graham Haigh

ITV Studios is aiming to launch a single drama-focused FAST channel to exploit its content in European markets as part of a range of “four to six” non IP-specific FAST channels, according to Graham Haigh, EVP of global business development and digital distribution at the UK commercial broadcaster’s studio arm.

Haigh told DTVE that it probably did not make sense to launch FAST channels based on programme-specific scripted content but ITV Studios will look to develop channels in markets where localisation makes sense.

Speakinjg on a panel session on FAST at the Connected TV World Summit in London, Haigh said that ITV Studios sees FAST as a complementary proposition to its traditional licensing model and will look on a market to market basis. Adding more channels to the mix is “the number one strategy” for the next two years, but ITV may look to partner with the likes of Filmrise or Samsung for some of these rather than focus exclusively on launching its own channels with partner Amagi, he said.

“We don’t need to have 25-30 channels out in the market,” he said. ITV Studios would look at big franchise and then four to six mixed vehicles for FAST, he said.

Haigh said strong franchises like Come Dine with Me could generate both a FAST channel and the opportunity to commission local – meaning US versions – of that show.

“We will have conversations about exclusivity but also look at the library and second window world where we are currently working with some our big brands,” he said. “It is quite market dependent.”

In Europe, he said, FAST is more about distributing library content.

Haigh said that ITV aimed to launch a FAST channel based around Love Island in the Nordic market. It would also looking to launch other channels in Europe and beyond and then do more experimentation around non-IP specific channels that would need to be scheduled.

He said ITV Studios wanted to broaden its mix of non IP-specific channels out into the scripted drama space to make the most of the content available.

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