ITV is set to be shaken and stirred by the loss of the James Bond film franchise for the first time in more than 35 years.
Broadcast understands that Sky Movies is on the brink of snatching the UK TV rights to the iconic spy’s back-catalogue in a landmark deal with MGM Worldwide Television.
ITV’s existing agreement with the distributor, signed in 2010, draws to a close in August, at which point Sky will take up the reins – handing the pay-TV operator the right to broadcast all 22 Bond films in high definition.
It is not known how much Sky will pay to secure the Ian Fleming franchise, but it is thought that its deal with MGM will be sewn up in the next few weeks.
ITV has aired the movies since Dr No made its UK small screen debut in 1975 and they still perform well across the broadcaster’s family of channels. The free-to-air premiere of Quantum Of Solace drew 5.16 million (22.87%) viewers last year.
This article was first published in Broadcast.