TV chairman Michael Grade yesterday admitted the broadcaster had fallen behind its rivals in adapting to the online world but promised to leapfrog them with its ambitious new broadband portal.
A video on demand service to be launched within weeks will offer any programme broadcast on ITV's channels during the last 30 days, trumping Channel 4's offering and the BBC's iPlayer service that covers the previous seven days.
The Â£20m revamp of ITV.com is designed to bring broadband television into the mainstream. In addition to the catch up service, it will offer live streams of each channel, with extra content, special web-only commissions and behind the scenes footage. ITV is also digitising 20,000 hours of its archive and will offer a selection of classics like Jewel in the Crown, Prime Suspect, The Prisoner and Inspector Morse as well as old episodes of soaps and comedies.