After launching the streaming service state-side last year, the BBC and ITV have confirmed that they are in advanced talks to launch BritBox on this side of the pond. The announcement that the BBC and ITV are now “working on a formal legal agreement” for the streaming service caps off months of rumours that they were looking to launch a British rival to Netflix and Amazon.
BritBox UK will feature the biggest collection of British content available on any streaming service and will also commission original series from UK producers. The BBC and ITV said that they have not made a decision on pricing, but that subscription rates would be “competitive”. The UK launch is eyed for late 2019. “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”, said Carolyn McCall, CEO of ITV.
In the U.S., where BritBox’s primary competitor is arguably Acorn TV, the streaming service has been gaining steam thanks in no small part to its first original commission The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco, which was a co-production with ITV. They also got the global first window on the twentieth season of Midsomer Murders, making it available to US subscribers months ahead of the ITV broadcast. BritBox in the United States now has over half a million subscribers.
“I am delighted that the BBC and ITV are working together on something truly special – BritBox. A new streaming service delivering the best home grown content to the public who love it best”, BBC Director General Tony Hall added in a statement. “The service will have everything from old favourites to recent shows and brand new commissions. It’s an exciting time for the viewing public.”