ITV is following in the footsteps of the BBC iPlayer by making content from its catch-up service ITV Player available to Virgin Media digital TV customers.

Virgin Media customers will be able to access over 40 hours of TV every week from ITV 1, 2, 3 and 4. The service includes shows such as Coronation Street, The X Factor and Emmerdale. The shows will be available on Virgin Media's free Catch up TV service for seven days after they have been broadcast.

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The Virgin Media Catch Up TV service already offers 500 hours of programming from the BBC iPlayer as well as those broadcast on other channels including E4, Bravo and Living. A selection of ITV's HD programmes will also be available on the service.

ITV has also announced that Virgin Media TV subscribers will be able to watch ITV Player content online, although whether this will be via a dedicated website or an app that can be downloaded to a desktop has yet to be announced.

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"ITV makes some of the country's most loved TV programmes so we're delighted to be able to offer so many of them to our customers," said Malcolm Wall, CEO of content at Virgin Media.

Michael Phillips, product director, said: "We are encouraged to see that the deal encompasses Virgin's online - as well as digital TV - customers since this provides additional utility for their broadband subscribers.

"On demand content of this kind can really test a consumer’s broadband package in terms of speed and download limits due to the size of the programme files. It's important that all UK broadband customers know they could have a download limit, fair usage policy or traffic mamanagement system with their package," he added.

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