Britain’s biggest broadcasters ITV and the BBC have signed an agreement to launch new streaming service BritBox in the final three months of the year, mounting a defence against on-demand services like Netflix and Amazon from across the pond.
The new service will be competitively priced at £5.99 per month with programmes available to stream in HD across multiples screens and devices.
BritBox will provide a new home for boxset favourites from the broadcasters’ archives, including Gavin and Stacey, Broadchurch, Gentleman Jack, Happy Valley, and the UK-version of The Office. New series will also be commissioned specifically for the platform, according to the BBC Director General, Tony Hall.
BBC1’s Gentleman Jack (BBC Pictures)
In a statement, 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. “
Carolyn McCall, CEO of ITV, said that the launch of BritBox marked a “milestone moment” for the two British broadcasters, stressing that BritBox has already proved “successful” in the US and Canada.
She said: “Subscription video on demand is increasingly popular with consumers who love being able to watch what they want when they want to watch it.”
The broadcasters’ along with Channel 4 attempted to launch an on-demand video service in 2009, but were blocked after the Competition Commission ruled it could prevent similar platforms from launching.