Amazon's online VoD service to offer new and archive shows including Doctor Who and Above Suspicion

LoveFilm has stepped up its TV rights war with Netflix, signing output deals with the BBC and ITV for new and archive shows including Doctor Who, Spooks, Prime Suspect and Above Suspicion.

The deals come as the Amazon-owned online video-rental service moves to bolster its library of TV shows and films ahead of the UK and Ireland launch of US video-on-demand subscription company Netflix in the first quarter of 2012.

LoveFilm signed a deal with Sony Pictures Television for films including The Social Network and Salt last month, while Netflix added BBC Worldwide to its catalogue.

Now LoveFilm has also signed up BBC Worldwide, getting access to shows including Whitechapel, Life on Mars and Planet Earth.

The Amazon subsidiary said the deal would make ITV content available to subscribers of its LoveFilm Instant service on the PC, Apple iPad, Xbox 360, internet-connected TVs and on the Sony PlayStation 3.

The subscription VoD agreement will include recent shows, such as Marchlands, as well as ITV's archive, including Inspector Morse, Cold Feet and Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

"We've had a content partnership with LoveFilm for several years now and it's great to see this evolve digitally," said Lisa Rousseau, head of UK and Ireland sales and distribution at BBC Worldwide.

"We are delighted to be working with LoveFilm to bring a wide range of ITV's best-loved programmes to their subscribers," said Martin Goswami, ITV's director of pay and distribution.

"Partnering with LoveFilm's Instant service is a great example of how ITV is starting to drive new revenue streams by distributing its content across multiple platforms."

Simon Calver, chief executive of LoveFilm, said the ITV deal was the "icing on the cake" of its Instant service, which gives members immediate access to TV and film content.

ITV is also understood to be in negotiations with Netflix over a similar deal, but a spokeswoman for the broadcaster said there was nothing to announce on Friday.

LoveFilm has embarked on a large-scale marketing campaign featuring TV and billboard ads since Netflix announced its UK and Ireland ambitions late last year.

The Amazon-owned company has been keen to stress its "low monthly fee", ranging from £5.99 to £14.99 a month, in anticipation that its new competitor might offer cut-price deals to coax away its members.

Netflix announced a slew of new deals in November, signing up BBC Worldwide, and the film studios Lionsgate UK, Miramax and MGM.