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27th Feb 2019

ITV and BBC join forces to launch British competitor to Netflix

British broadcasters ITV and BBC have confirmed plans to launch a British competitor to Netflix and Amazon Prime which will be called BritBox

Reuben Pinder

Amazon and Netflix just got a new competitor

The BBC and ITV have confirmed plans to join forces and launch a new streaming service, ‘BritBox’ which will be Britain’s competitor to Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Talks regarding the launch of BritBox are currently in the “concluding phase”. It is expected that on-demand services provided by other television channels will join later, allowing a huge range of British box-sets to be available on demand in one place.

BritBox will feature “old favourites” as well as modern series, and will ‘boast the biggest collection of British content on any streaming service’ according to the broadcasters involved.

ITV and the BBC launched BritBox in the United States back in 2017 and now plan to bring the service to the UK. ITV are expected to invest £25m into the venture this year and £40m more in 2020.

TV chief executive Carolyn McCall said: “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 the streaming service would be “truly special”.

“A new streaming service delivering the best home-grown content to the public who love it best,” he said.

“The service will have everything from old favourites to recent shows and brand new commissions. It’s an exciting time for the viewing public.”

BritBox’s estimated time of arrival in the UK is some time later this year, with subscription costs still unknown.

Tom Watson MP, Labour’s Shadow Culture Secretary has said: “Today’s announcement of a new BritBox streaming service from ITV and the BBC is exciting and ambitious.

“Our Public Service Broadcasters produce the very best of British storytelling and it is right that they consider how they can continue to thrive in a world of ever evolving technology.

“British broadcasting is innovative and dynamic. I’m looking forward to trying this new service later this year.”