ITV, BBC confirm launch, initial price for BritBox
Details
Joseph O'Halloran
| 19 July 2019

The BBC and ITV have confirmed the fourth quarter of 2019 as the launch date of the BritBox streaming service with which they hope to take on SVOD giants such as Netflix in the UK, at a monthly cost of £5.99.

The leading UK public and commercial broadcasters believe that their success with the BritBox product in the US proves that they have the knowhow to launch and manage a streaming service and they add that research with the British public shows that while mainstream audiences are moving to SVOD in large numbers, there is a real appetite for a new British streaming service taken in addition to their current subscriptions.

BritBox in the UK will provide what ITV and the BBC say will be an unrivalled collection of British boxsets and original series available on demand. This will include what they say will be biggest collection of British content available on any streaming service and brand new commissions for British production companies specifically created for BritBox.

Launch programmes will include Love Island, Famalam, Cleaning Up and Gentleman Jack as well as bringing home iconic shows such as Gavin & Stacey, Victoria, Happy Valley, Broadchurch, Les Misérables, The Office and Benidorm which will be on the service at launch or come onto the service shortly after when licences with other SVOD services end.

Going forward, ITV and the BBC say that they provide a new and regular flow of fresh programmes as soon as they come out of their broadcast and catch-up windows. This will provide viewers with hundreds of hours of new ITV and BBC content every year. Many of these shows will be exclusive to UK viewers through BritBox and the flow of programmes will ensure that the content on BritBox is refreshed every week.
BritBox is also commissioning original content from British production companies specifically created for BritBox. The first new show is expected to be commissioned soon and will be available to BritBox viewers from 2020. BritBox is in discussions with other partners to provide content and to distribute BritBox to viewers and future announcements will follow in coming months. In addition the BBC and ITV said that they were continuing to speak to UK regulator Ofcom and the wider industry about BritBox.

“The agreement to launch BritBox is a milestone moment,” said Carolyn McCall, CEO of ITV, commenting on the news. “Subscription video-on-demand is increasingly popular with consumers who love being able to watch what they want when they want to watch it. We now look forward to...bringing the very best in past, present and future British programming and award-winning content to viewers all in one place.”

BBC Director General, Tony Hall, added: “We have a world beating TV industry with outstanding content. The BBC and ITV are at the centre of that. Together, we 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. These are exciting times for people who love quality TV. Importantly, these shows will be truly British, showcasing our culture and telling distinctive stories. It's what makes real British TV so special.”