BBC and ITV have confirmed proposals for a new streaming service for the UK – BritBox. The broadcasting giants are currently concluding talks for this new partnership and are in the process of legally formalising an agreement. BritBox is an attempt to contend with well-established streaming giant, Netflix.
While only BBC and ITV have joined forces for the moment, it’s been suggested that other organisations will join them in their effort. The two organisations are expected to discuss these potential plans with regulators and the wider industry.
BritBox would be home to the largest collection of British boxsets and original British productions especially commissioned for the streaming service. All content would be available on demand. As put by Carolyn McCall, CEO of ITV, “Britbox will be the home for the best of British creativity – celebrating the best of the past, the best of today and investing in new British originated content in the future”.
BritBox would be coming to the UK following a successful run in the US. It has exceeded expectations in North America, having garnered over half a million subscribers since its inception in 2017. The BBC and ITV are aiming to replicate their overseas success here with British audiences. There’s evidence to suggest that Brits would readily welcome a new British-orientated streaming service – this is in addition to any subscriptions they currently hold! Research commissioned by the ITV found that over 50% of UK homes would be interested in subscribing to a new SVoD service featuring British content – in spite of already being signed up to Netflix.
Margot James, Minister of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said, “Congratulations BBC and ITV on reaching an agreement on a PSB streaming service, BritBox will be a great brand as well as hosting world class content.”
Tom Watson, Labour’s Shadow Culture Secretary also praised the service, commenting on how the BBC and ITV are “right [to consider] how they can continue to thrive in a world of ever-evolving technology”.
BBC and ITV are planning to debut the service in the later half of 2019. Pricing has not been confirmed as of yet but the two broadcasters have stated that it will be competitive.
Anyone who is interested in keeping up-to-date with the latest developments (including when they can subscribe!) can do so here.
A further update is expected from the BBC and ITV when a formal agreement has been established.
Photo credit: www.britbox.co.uk
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