ITV and BBC have finalized their plans to launch BritBox in the U.K., with the platform going live in the fourth quarter priced at £5.99 ($7.50) per month.
BritBox will be the home of shows recently aired on ITV and BBC, as soon as they come out of their broadcast and catch-up windows, including Love Island, Famalam, Cleaning Up and Gentleman Jack. Shows like Gavin & Stacey, Victoria, Happy Valley, Broadchurch, Les Miserables, The Office and Benidorm will be on the service at launch or come onto the service shortly after when their licenses end with other SVOD services. The platform will also feature original series, beginning in 2020.
Carolyn McCall, CEO of ITV, commented, “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 U.K. public-service broadcasters. ITV and BBC have made, and continue to make, the programs 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 U.S. 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.”
BBC Director General Tony Hall added, “We have a world-beating TV industry with outstanding content. The BBC and ITV are at the center 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. 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. Importantly, these shows will be truly British, showcasing our culture and telling distinctive stories. It’s what makes real British TV so special.”
BritBox will be an ITV-controlled venture, holding 90 percent, with the balance 10 percent held by the BBC. The BBC has an option to acquire additional shares over time up to 25 percent in total, and ITV will have the ability to bring additional investors on board. ITV can appoint a majority of the BritBox board while the BBC’s equity stake provides it with board representation from the outset. The management team will be led by Reemah Sakaan, group director for ITV SVOD, reporting to Kevin Lygo, ITV’s director of television, who has overall commissioning responsibility for BritBox. BritBox will pay market rate fees for all content provided by ITV, BBC and other rights owners.