Because in the future, everyone gets a streaming service… Pluto TV has announced a major new content deal with BBC Studios that gives the Viacom-owned free streamer access to nearly 1,000 episodes of BBC shows – including 200 Classic Doctor Who episodes. Pluto TV is an ad-supported streaming service that boasts approximately 15 million customers and has deals with Warner Bros., Lionsgate, MGM, CBS, Discovery, Gravitas Ventures, Conde Nast, and Warner Music Group.
Why is this so important? Though available only to U.S. viewers, this content-licensing deal will make available through Pluto TV a number of BBC Studios properties previously only available on premium streaming and cable networks.
In addition to dedicated Pluto TV channels for Doctor Who and Antiques Roadshow, the streaming service will also have access to episodes of Being Erica, Bedlam, Primeval and Robin Hood. Variety reports that the deal includes Doctor Who episodes featuring Tom Baker (including "The Deadly Assassin," "The Ark in Space," and "The Robots of Death"), Peter Davison (including "EarthShock," "The Caves of Androzani"), Jon Pertwee (including "Planet of the Spiders," "Terror of the Autons"), and William Hartnell (including "The Dalek Invasion Of Earth").
BBC Studios SVP of Digital Strategy and Franchise Business Management for the Americas Beth Clearfield believes the deal will help introduce Who history to an entirely new generation of future fans:
"This new Pluto TV enterprise is appealing for us as we continue to attract new audiences through the creation of branded pop-up channels like classic 'Doctor Who' and 'Antiques Roadshow' and expand on opportunities for existing fans to find their favorite shows to stream, in a unique way.
The BBC has long been a key international entertainment leader known for captivating audiences with content that transcends time. We are incredibly proud and eager to introduce BBC Studio's evergreen content to Pluto TV audiences."
In a released statement, Pluto TV SVP of Content Partnerships Amy Kuessner added: "Pluto TV is elated to be able to expand our range of programming by adding such an esteemed and regarded brand as the BBC."
The Pluto TV deal is separate and apart from BritBox subscription streaming service's deal, which sets it as the only place to stream all available Classic Doctor Who episodes. Still, the new deal will bring a variety of BBC content to a largely younger demo who are not interested in paying for yet another streaming service.
Pluto TV's content-licensing deal could have viewers flying through time and space with The Doctor by May 2019.