itvITV plc has launched a new on-demand service for expats and holidaymakers abroad, which will give them access to episodes of Coronation Street and Emmerdale. The new service, ITV Essentials, offers a 30 day catch-up window and ad-free viewing for a monthly subscription of €5.49. Viewers can choose from a recurring monthly subscription if they are abroad for the long-term, or buy a one-month pass if going abroad for a holiday.

ITV Essentials will initially only be available on laptops or computers connected to a fixed broadband line or Wi-Fi connection, as opposed to 3/4G mobile. Users will need to have Microsoft Silverlight installed. The service is currently not available on Tablets or mobile devices, but an iOS app for iPhone and iPad is in development.

ITV Essentials is available in the following countries only: Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Gibraltar, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Spain.

ITV Essentials was created in partnership with Saffron Digital. In a press release, Saffron Digital’s President, Jason Keane said: “This is an elegant solution to finding ways to reach more soap fans across Europe. ITV have really raised the bar with this initiative and we are thrilled to be the launch partner on this unique service.”

The move to launch ITV Essentials comes within weeks of the launch of the new Astra 2E satellite, which is likely to restrict free-to-air access to ITV plc’s channels in some parts of the Mediterranean, as the new satellite has a much tighter spotbeam focused on the UK and Ireland to reduce continental overspill. Expats and holidaymakers in many parts of the Med have previously relied on oversized satellite dishes to get their fix of free-to-air UK television.

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By Expat