BBC And ITV To Launch New Streaming Service BritBox This Autumn | TV News
The BBC and ITV will launch their joint subscription service BritBox between October and the end of December this year.
Pitched as a cheaper alternative to Netflix, subscribers will pay £5.99 a month and can watch shows including Love Island, Gavin and Stacey, Happy Valley and Gentleman Jack in HD.
New programmes will also be created especially for the streaming service, with the first expected to arrive next year.
The monthly fee will cover multiple screens and devices, “which is less than other streaming services“, a statement said.
Many ITV and BBC programmes will move to BritBox after being been broadcast on TV and removed from BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub. The BBC is expected to get permission from regulator Ofcom to keep shows on iPlayer for a year as standard.
Netflix has more than 150 million subscribers worldwide but saw its share price plummet this week after gaining fewer viewers than expected in the last three months.
The rise in price was partly to blame, with fees increasing from £5.99 to £8.99 for a standard package, it was confirmed in May.
The BBC and ITV first launched BritBox in North America in 2017, showing programmes like Midsomer Murders, Poirot and Only Fools and Horses.
It now has 650,000 subscribers, which ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall said was “exceeding its targets”.
When asked why viewers should pay an extra charge to watch shows originally funded by the BBC’s licence fee, director-general Tony Hall compared BritBox to releasing a programme on DVD.
“That was the BBC saying, there’s a secondary market – you pay for content after we’ve shown it”, he said. “This is just a modern-day version of that, and an even better version of that, because it used to be infuriating when you’d seen a programme on the BBC and you couldn’t get hold of the DVD”.
“Any money the corporation makes will be put back in to programme-making, he continued. “I think this is wins all round for the licence fee payers”.
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