Netflix has snapped up a digital licensing agreement with BBC Worldwide ahead of its arrival in the United Kingdom and Ireland, meaning access to the wealth of Beeb goodies.

The deal means shows such as Spooks, Little Britain, Torchwood and classics like Fawlty Towers will be available to stream for all UK Netflix members when the service goes live early next year.

Steve McAllister, president and managing director, Sales & Distribution, BBC Worldwide said: "With our content already available on Netflix in North and Latin America, we're delighted to be a launch partner for Netflix in the UK and Eire, offering viewers the chance to watch some of our best loved shows on the platform from day one.

"UK audiences have really grasped the experience that online viewing can bring, and our programming has proven to be particularly popular with this digital audience."

Netflix recently signed a multi-year licensing agreement with Lionsgate UK, allowing the movie streaming subscription service first access to the studio's films on a Pay TV platform.

With that, the BBC deal, talks with ITV, a reported deal with MGM, it certainly appears that Netflix is taking its UK launch seriously. There's bound to be a few worried faces at subscription rivals Lovefilm, Virgin Media and Sky....