February 27, 2019
Following the successful launch of a British-themed subscription streaming video service in the United States, the creators of BritBox are planning to bow the platform in the United Kingdom.
The BBC and ITV Feb. 26 said they are working out the legalities, anticipating that other partners will be added to the service. Both companies said they would speak to regulators and the wider industry about their proposals.
While neither the BBC or ITV would disclose pricing for the service, launch is planned for the second half of 2019. Consumers can pre-register for the service at www.BritBox.co.uk.
BritBox U.K. would claim to have the biggest collection of British content available on any streaming service, in addition to original content specifically created for the streaming service.
“I am really pleased that ITV and the BBC are at the concluding stage of discussions to launch a new streaming service,” Carolyn McCall, CEO of ITV, said in a statement. “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.
The BBC and ITV launched BritBox in the United States in 2017, with the service recently topping 500,000 subscribers. The tally is significant considering British-themed SVOD competitors include AMC Networks’ Acorn TV, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
There is no shortage of SVOD service in the U.K., with both Netflix and Amazon well established. Data from the Broadcasters Audience Research Board found that more than 12 million households have at least one SVOD service – with annual growth in homes with any SVOD service at 20%. That percentage increases to 32% with 4 million homes having more than one subscription.
ITV claims 43% of all connected homes in the U.K. are interested in subscribing to a SVOD service featuring British content. This percentage increases to over 50% in homes with a Netflix subscription.
“It’s an exciting time for the viewing public,” said BBC director general Tony Hall.