The companies provide few details about the deal, including whether it’s exclusive to Netflix. It appears to be limited to library episodes of series including Torchwood, Spooks, Fawlty Towers, Miss Marple, and Inspector Linley. Netflix plans to launch its service in the UK and Ireland in early 2012. It previously announced licensing agreements with studios including MGM, Miramax, Lionsgate. Here’s the release about Netflix’s new agreement with the BBC:

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Dec. 20, 2011 — Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, today announced a new digital licensing agreement that will bring a broad range of great BBC series to Netflix members in the UK and Ireland.

Beginning early 2012, previous series of BBC shows such as “Torchwood” and “Spooks” will be available for Netflix members to watch instantly in the UK and Ireland streamed over the Internet to connected TVs, tablets, game consoles, computers and mobile phones.

Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed. Netflix announced in October that it would launch its service in the UK and Ireland early in 2012.

“BBC shows are a big favourite of our over 20 million streaming members in the U.S., Canada and Latin America,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer. “Members love watching back-to-back episodes of BBC series where and when they want, at the click of a button. We are incredibly proud to make these high quality programmes available to Netflix members in the UK and Ireland.”

Commented Steve Macallister, president and managing director, Sales & Distribution, BBC Worldwide: “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.”

Additional BBC titles available to members of Netflix in the UK and Ireland will include comedies like “Little Britain” and “Fawlty Towers,” and dramas like “Miss Marple” and “Inspector Lynley.”