The new streaming service is planned to launch later this year and will feature archive shows and new commissions
The BBC together with ITV have officially confirmed they plan to launch a paid-for streaming service called BritBox by the end of this year in an attempt to dethrone Netflix. Which is affecting the market share of traditional broadcasters, as audiences increasingly desert established channels and choose shows instantly available on streaming services.
They are actually already offering classic and brand new TV shows to US viewers on BritBox, but now they have plans to make it available in the UK as well. BBC director general Tony Hall said they aim to launch BritBox in the UK in the second half of 2019, and even if there are rumors it will cost £5 a month, the price was not yet announced officially.
UK BritBox will feature the biggest collection of British content such as BBC and ITV archive shows, alongside new British commissions made especially for the service. However, the BritBox will not replace the BBC iPlayer or the ITV Hub services nor will it run their specific programs which will still remain available through the BBC and the ITV. Moreover, other broadcasters are said to be joining the service later, such as Channel 4 and Channel 5.
BritBox aims to be an add-on for British households that already have one streaming service, while Netflix commissions shows on a global basis, BritBox will provide original material aimed at UK viewers. ITV’s chief executive Carolyn McCall stated:
“When we’re commissioning content we’re looking at it working in the UK specifically. It is a permanent, comprehensive home for the widest range of British content available in one place.”
BritBox is not the first service of its kind, ten years ago there was Project Kangaroo – a proposal for a similar British cross-channel streaming service – that was blocked on competition grounds. Moreover, many in the British TV industry blame the Competition Commission’s decision for opening the door for Netflix to dominate.