- BritBox priced at £5.99 per month in HD
- Co-branded by ITV and the BBC to showcase British creativity
- BritBox will pay market rate fees for all content
ITV and the BBC have reached a “milestone moment,” signing an agreement to launch the UK’s BritBox in Q4 with new commissions set to air in 2020.
The rival UK-broadcasters have formalised plans to competitively launch BritBox into the UK, which will be priced at £5.99 per month in high definition (HD) across multiple screens and devices.
The two companies announced plans today, confirming the service will have content beyond the archived “storehouse” of the nation’s favourite programmes hosting the largest collection of British boxsets. It will also commission a broad range of original series made exclusively for BritBox.
ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall said: “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.
ITV and BBC are already working together on BritBox in the US and Canada which has exceeded its targets, gaining 650,000 subscribers since launch.
She added: “Discussions continue with other content and distribution partners and we are looking forward to making further announcements in the coming months.”
- Read more: Old rivals become new frenemies
BritBox will be 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 will initially hold 90% of the equity and the BBC will hold the remainder, with the opportunity for the BBC 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.
BBC director general Tony Hall said: “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.
“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 have its own dedicated management team 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. Reemah reports to Kevin Lygo, ITV’s Director of Television, who has overall commissioning responsibility for BritBox.
BritBox will be the place to view shows recently broadcast on ITV and BBC including Love Island, Famalam, Cleaning Up and Gentleman Jack as well as bringing home iconic shows such as Gavin and 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 when licences with other SVODs end.
BritBox will pay market rate fees for all content provided by ITV, BBC and other rights owners.
BritBox will be a multi-genre service, with a strong focus on multi-series drama boxsets, and from launch, thousands of hours of much-loved British television will be available. ITV and the BBC will open up their archive of owned content to BritBox viewers for a curated and unique store of award-winning television.
Read more: Britbox: ‘Too little, too late?’