Technicolor Network Services (TNS), Thomson's multiplatform division, will run the facility and manage ITV's 'significant' investment in new technology, including VoD, HD and new digital channels.
The ITV staff are expected to move to the new site within 18 months. No job losses are expected as a result. The facility will be dedicated to providing playout for ITV's seven existing channels, including ITV1. Neither ITV nor Thomson would reveal the size of ITV's investment in new technology, but a spokesman said: 'It's a multi-million-pound commitment.'
Under the deal, TNS will provide broadcast and transmission services that were previously handled in-house at ITV, including content preparation, media management and distribution of live, pre-recorded and on-demand digital content.
ITV's chief operating officer, John Cresswell, said: 'This agreement with Thomson will allow us to launch new channels quickly and flexibly, improve the look and feel of our on-air programming and add new services for our customers, including video-on-demand and HD.'
Thomson chairman and chief executive Frank Dangeard said: 'The addition of ITV's people and facilities will allow us to seamlessly integrate ITV programming into our operations.'
ITV is currently developing a broadband service, due to launch in the first half of the year. This year will also see the national roll-out of regional IPTV service ITV Local.
- Sports broadcaster Setanta is moving 15 production and scheduling staff to a new £1.3m transmission suite at Input Media's Production Centre in Chiswick.
The Setanta Sports Golf channel will launch from the centre on 8 January, and a digital terrestrial (DTT) platform and one other Setanta channel will launch before Easter. Setanta and Input have invested a further £1m in technology for the new channels.