The British public broadcaster and commercial network have set a strategic partnership to launch a service in the second half of 2019. It will be a mix of library shows from the BBC and ITV and will also include new commissions from British production companies.
The two companies, which run a similarly named service in the U.S., are working on a formal legal agreement for the service and “anticipate” that other partners including Channel 4 and Viacom’s Channel 5 will be added. They are speaking to regulators and the “wider industry” about their proposals.
Will BritBox be able to compete with the likes of Netflix, Amazon and Apple? ITV CEO Carolyn McCall said that it is set to spend £25M this year on the service and up to £40M next year, less than one season of The Crown.
She told Deadline, “We’ve never said this is the British equivalent of Netflix – we’re looking at content working in the UK. The most important thing is that it’s complementary to Netflix.”
The service will be run by Reemah Sakaan, who was previously SVP, Creative and Editorial at BritBox in the U.S.
McCall added, “I am really pleased that ITV and the BBC are at the concluding stage of discussions to launch a new streaming service. 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. “
BBC Director General, Tony Hall, said, “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. The service will have everything from old favourites to recent shows and brand new commissions. It’s an exciting time for the viewing public.”
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