James Bond is returning to free-to-air. ITV has reached an exclusive multi-year deal with MGM International Television Distribution to secure the free-to-air rights to the James Bond franchise.
The deal between ITV and MGM is said to include the latest Bond film Skyfall and will see the James Bond return to ITV after Sky poached the franchise – which ITV effectively had a stranglehold on for the better part of four decades – in April 2012 and subsequently launched a dedicated channel, Sky Movies 007.
“Skyfall is the highest grossing film of all time at the UK Box Office and proves not only the enduring popularity of the Bond franchise but also its iconic status”, said Anjela Jain, ITV’s Director Digital Channels and Acquisitions. “I am delighted we have the entire Bond library of films on Britain’s biggest commercial channel, a fantastic treat for all viewers.”
While Chris Ottinger, MGM’s President of International Television Distribution & Acquisitions, added: “MGM is thrilled to partner again with ITV to bring James Bond home to UK audiences. 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.”