ITV and the BBC have signed an agreement to launch BritBox in the UK in the fourth quarter of this year.
The streaming service will be competitively priced at £5.99 per mouth in HD across multiple screens and devices and will offer a wide range of programming recently shown across ITV and BBC channels and will also bring to viewers ‘the largest collection of British boxsets’. There will also be series commissioned especially for Britbox that won’t be available anywhere else.
“The agreement to launch BritBox is a milestone moment. Subscription video on demand is increasingly popular with consumers who love being able to watch what they want when they want to watch it. They are also happy to pay for this ease of access to quality content and so BritBox is tapping into this, and a new revenue stream for UK public service broadcasters.
“ITV and BBC have made, and continue to make, the programmes that both reflect and shape British culture and creativity. We now look forward to working together to launch the largest collection of British boxsets ever – bringing the very best in past, present and future British programming and award-winning content to viewers all in one place.
“We are already working together on BritBox in the US and Canada and this is proving to be very successful, exceeding its targets. We are committed to making BritBox UK a great success. Discussions continue with other content and distribution partners and we are looking forward to making further announcements in the coming months.” – Carolyn McCall, CEO of ITV
Both broadcasters note that viewing programmes ‘on demand’ – as opposed to following a linear schedule – is increasing in popularity and that there is a real appetite amongst British viewers for a new streaming service alongside their current subscriptions. BritBox is being launched to fulfil this demand.
The multi-genre service, with a strong focus on multi series drama boxsets, will have thousands of hours of much-loved British television available from launch.
Both ITV and the BBC will also provide a new and regular flow of fresh programmes as soon as they come out of their broadcast and catch-up windows ensuring that the content available is refreshed on a regular basis.
“The BBC and ITV have been responsible for delivering the majority of must see moments on British TV over the last decade. That must see content will now be on BritBox. But this service isn’t just about the past. I am really excited about the new shows it will commission. With a remit to be daring and different, many future classics will be commissioned and live on BritBox for the future. These are exciting times for people who love quality TV.” – Tony Hall, Director General of the BBC
The first show to be commissioned exclusively for the platform will be announced soon and available to subscribers from 2010. BritBox is an ITV-controlled venture, but as a founding partner, the BBC will contribute to the development of the core purposes and strategic direction of the venture. ITV initially holds 90% and the BBC holds 10% of the equity, though the Beeb will have the option to acquire additional shares over time and ITV could bring in additional investors.
BritBox will have its own dedicated management team led by Reemah Sakaan, Group Director ITV SVOD. Both ITV and the BBC will support the launch of the service with a high-profile marketing and promotional campaign and will also look at how best to connect viewers between BritBox and their regular catch-up services, ITV Hub and BBC iPlayer.