BritBox Announces First Original Global Content Production

BritBox North America and BritBox U.K. May 25 announced that the British-themed SVOD has commissioned its first global original programming: mystery series “Murder in Provence,” from Monumental Television.

Starring Roger Allam (“Endeavour,” “The Thick of It”), Nancy Carroll (“The Crown,” “Father Brown”) and Keala Settle (The Greatest Showman), and based on the books by M.L. Longworth, “Murder in Provence” follows Antoine Verlaque (Allam), Investigating Judge in Aix-en Provence, and romantic partner Marine Bonnet (Carroll) as they investigate the murders, mysteries and dark underbelly of their idyllic home. Their efforts are aided by Hélène (Settle), a detective and Antoine’s trusted confidante.

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Monumental Television, part of BritBox co-owner ITV Studios, was founded by Oscar nominated film producers Alison Owen and Debra Hayward in 2014.

The series, which is due to go into production in the U.K. and France in July, marks the first global collaboration between BritBox North America and BritBox U.K. The series will debut exclusively on the streamers in 2022. The series will then be aired on ITV in the UK the following year.

“‘Murder in Provence’ is the perfect series for our first major collaboration with our BritBox U.K. colleagues,” Emily Powers, head of BritBox North America, said in a statement. Will Harrison, managing director BritBox U.K., hopes the series will be the first of many global originals made exclusively for BritBox subscribers.

“The books by M.L. Longworth seem to be tailor made for television,” he said.

BritBox North America launched in 2017 as competition to AMC Networks’ Acorn TV, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. It has more than 1.5 million subscribers. BritBox U.K. bowed in 2019, and has more than 500,000 subs.

BritBox U.K. Bows on Amazon Prime Channels, Tops 500,000 Subs

BritBox, the subscription streaming video service launched in North America in 2017 by BBC Studios and ITV, now has distribution via Amazon Prime Video Channels in the U.K. The service just topped 500,000 subscribers there after launching in 2019. The platform is projected to reach 2 million U.K. subs by 2023.

BritBox, which features British-themed TV shows and movies, and was launched to compete against AMC Networks’ Acorn TV and Netflix, among others, has more than 1.2 million subs in North America.

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“We are excited to bring the very best British entertainment to an even wider audience through Amazon, especially as we launch more original content in the spring,” Will Harrison, managing director of BritBox U.K., said in a statement.

BritBox originals include Splitting Image, The Beast Must Die, and “Hope Street,” a new serial crime drama set in Northern Ireland.



BritBox Going Global With Pending Service in Australia

BritBox, the British-themed content subscription streaming video service launched in the United States in 2017 by ITV and BBC Studios, is planning to expand worldwide. The service is following in the footsteps of rival Netflix bowing in Canada (2018), the United Kingdom (2019) and soon in Australia. BritBox has more than 1 million subscribers in North America, par with competitor AMC Networks’ Acorn TV.

“BritBox has very quickly found a place in viewers’ hearts and we know there is further appetite amongst international audiences who love great British content,” Tim Davie, CEO of BBC Studios, said in a statement. “We are actively appraising new markets to introduce the service and are very excited about the imminent launch in Australia.”

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BritBox U.K. has distribution deals in place for TV shows “Shetland” and “Vera,” offering subs new episodes day and date, in addition to soap operas “Coronation Street” and “EastEnders” the day after their initial broadcast. Original series include “The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco,” “The Mallorca Files,” “There She Goes” and “The Bay.”

“This international expansion plan will firmly establish BritBox as a global premium brand in a rapidly growing sector,” said Carolyn McCall, ITV CEO. “Offering subscribers the best and biggest collection of British content has enabled BritBox to rapidly grow in our existing countries and as streaming continues to expand worldwide this roll out will give our distinctive streaming business truly international scale.”

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‘Bodyguard’ Star in New BritBox Original Series

BritBox, the subscription streaming video service from BBC Studios and ITV in North America and the United Kingdom, will release original co-production “Honour” this fall.

BAFTA-nominated Keeley Hawes (“Bodyguard,” “Tipping the Velvet”) stars as DCI Caroline Goode investigating the tragic true story of Banaz Mahmod, a London woman killed by her family because of a relationship they considered shameful.

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Goode attempts to pursue justice after learning her colleagues failed to protect Banaz, despite five reports of threats to her life. The show tackles the difficult subject of so-called honor killings.

Th newest BritBox Original comes from Liza Marshall (“Temple, Riviera”) helmed Hera Pictures in association with Hawes’ company Buddy Club. Previously Marshall was head of Scott Free London, Ridley Scott’s production company, as well as head of drama for Channel 4. Hawes will executive produce the limited series which is Buddy Club’s first production.

“In these uncertain times, we are passionate about continuing to bring important stories to our audience,” BritBox CEO Soumya Sriraman said in a statement.

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“We are delighted to partner with Britbox to bring this powerful true story to a wider audience in the U.S.,” added Marshall.

BritBox is available for $6.99 per month on Roku, Apple TV 4th Gen, Amazon Channels, Apple TV Channels, Samsung, LG and all iOS and Android devices, AirPlay, Chromecast, and online at

BritBox is home to a collection of modern police dramas, including “The Victim,” starring Kelly Macdonald, “The Bay,” starring Morven Christie, and the upcoming “A Confession,” a crime drama based on a true story, starring Martin Freeman.

Honour adds to BritBox’s slate of originals such as “Mum,” starring Lesley Manville; “There She Goes,” starring David Tennant; “The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco”; “The Mallorca Files”; “Sister Boniface”; and recently announced “Pembrokeshire Murders,” starring Luke Evans.

Netflix Rival BritBox Launching Q4 in the U.K.

As expected, British television rivals ITV and the BBC have signed an agreement to launch subscription streaming video service BritBox in the U.K. in the fourth quarter priced at £5.99 ($7.51) per month in HD and available across multiple screens and devices.

Originally launched in North America in 2017 featuring British-centric programming from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, BritBox ($6.99) recently surpassed 650,000 subscribers.

Independent research carried out by Differentology shows that desire for British content is high – with 44% of U.K. respondents claiming they are likely to subscribe to a new SVOD service featuring British content. About 54% of respondents with a Netflix subscription claimed they would be likely to subscribe to BritBox.

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BARB data shows that more U.K. households are taking multiple SVOD subscriptions – while the annual growth in homes without any SVOD service is 20%, growth in homes with multiple services is 34%, with 5 million homes now having more than one subscription.

BritBox U.K. will initially stream TV shows broadcast on ITV and BBC, including reality series “Love Island,” “Famalam,” “Cleaning Up” and “Gentleman Jack” (available in the U.S. on HBO), in addition to catalog shows such as “Gavin & Stacey,” “Victoria,” “Happy Valley,” “Broadchurch,” “Les Miserables,” “The Office” and “Benidorm,” which will be on the service at launch or come onto the service shortly after licenses with other SVODs end.

BritBox is also commissioning original content from British production companies specifically created for the service. The first new show is expected to available in 2020.

“The agreement to launch BritBox is a milestone moment,” Carolyn McCall, CEO of ITV, said in a statement. “SVOD 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 U.K. public service broadcasters.”

While McCall denies BritBox is targeting Netflix, which has about 10 million subscribers in the U.K. and features original content from the BBC and ITV, among other sources, BBC Director General Tony Hall is singing a different tune.

Hall said the two media companies contribute to “a world beating TV industry.”

“Together, we have been responsible for delivering the majority of ‘must see’ moments on British TV over the last decade,” he said. “That ‘must see’ content will now be on BritBox.”

ITV initially holds 90% stake and the BBC holds 10% in the joint venture. The BBC has an option to acquire additional shares over time up to 25% in total and ITV will have the ability to bring additional investors on board.
ITV will be able to appoint a majority of the BritBox board while the BBC’s equity stake provides it with board representation from the outset.

BritBox will be led by Reemah Sakaan, group director ITV SVOD, responsible for making editorial decisions about the service content while also ensuring alignment with ITV’s and the BBC’s branding and editorial policies. Sakaan reports to Kevin Lygo, ITV’s director of television, who has overall commissioning responsibility for BritBox.