ITV has lost the movie rights to screen the James Bond movies for the first time in 37 years.
The movie franchise will instead move to Sky Movies in a move which is set to anger viewers who do not subscribe to Pay TV.
Sky Movies will take over the rights in October, just in time for the 50th anniversary of the first James Bond movie, Dr. No, while also landing the coup of being able to screen the new movie, Skyfall, just months after its cinema release. Skyfall is due to be released in November and could be screened on Sky early next year.
Bond movies have been a staple on ITV for as long as I can remember and were my first experience of the franchise before I was old enough to see them in cinemas (I will always remember hiding behind my cushion being scared while watching the voodoo and occult in Live and Let Die) and my only gripe was when ITV would interject the news halfway through the movie and oh yes, the adverts.
A TV insider said, “This is a big blow to ITV, 007 is a ratings banker.”
ITV can however take solace in the fact that the deal with Sky looks set to be a one year deal at the moment leaving them with an opportunity to hustle back in when the contract is up.
The insider added, “This is just a window of opportunity for Sky. In terms of Bond on terrestrial TV, it’s a case of never say never again.”
Sky will be able to show the 22 Bond movies made by Eon Productions and those made without them, Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again. Director of Sky Movies, Ian Lewis, said, “We are delighted. Everything about these films is iconic – the cars, the gadgets, the catchphrases.”
The news comes as fans were given their first glimpse of the brilliant Ralph Fiennes in the new movie Skyfall as well as several shots of Daniel Craig. Fiennes has remained tight-lipped on his latest role only saying, “If you’re a Bond fan then you’ll be happy. I can tell you that John Logan has written a fantastic screenplay and Sam Mendes is a class act. They’re doing something quite special I think. I think they’re going to be great for Bond.”
For me, well I have Sky and I must admit, while I have seen the Bond films I like plenty of times and got Sky, the thing that saddens me is that it’s a bit of a tradition treating yourself to a rendition of a Bond film on a bank holiday or over Christmas. I am so looking forward to Skyfall and the fact that I can see it in the cinema this year and on Sky early next year is a bonus. I don’t have the boxset of DVDs of James Bond even though I love them; for me, when it’s a series they are always adding to, it makes it difficult (ahem, Pirates of the Caribbean). In fact, the only box set I think I own is the Friends one.
Does Bond moving to Sky affect you and what are you thoughts?