BBC and ITV Announce UK 'BritBox' Streaming Service to Rival Netflix

by

British broadcasters ITV and the BBC have announced joint plans to create "BritBox," a subscription streaming service for UK audiences to rival the likes of Netflix (via Reuters).

britbox uk
The two companies already offer a similarly named streaming service for the U.S., but today's news was about a new video-on-demand service for British audiences, which will offer subscribers a place to watch both well-known television series and original programming, according to ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall.

"This will provide an unrivaled collection of British boxsets and original series in one place," she said.

"We anticipate that other partners will be added to BritBox and we will both speak to regulators and the wider industry about our proposals."

The service is set to launch in the second half of 2019 and will be priced competitively, according to both broadcasters, although no further details were given.

BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub already provide British viewers with free catch-up streaming services featuring a limited range of programs, but the broadcasters claim research shows viewers embrace streaming and would be willing to add another service to current subscriptions, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Sky.

The BritBox streaming service for U.S. audiences is said to be ahead of expectations, having already broken through targets with over half a million subscribers.

Top Rated Comments

Hermes Monster Avatar
25 months ago
I already (begrudgingly) pay a TV License so that I can watch the BBC via live TV and the iPlayer service, but they want me to pay another subscription fee??
[doublepost=1551268545][/doublepost]

Wait for it, someone will mention the TV License.........

Well yeah. Obviously
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cjbryce Avatar
25 months ago
Seems to me that this would be a double-dip for UK viewers and more than a bit cheeky because the content has already been paid for at least once over by licence fee payers and advertisers.

However, for non-UK viewers it would open up 40-50 years worth of quite good telly. And maybe earn the BBC enough global revenue to lower the licence fee and ITV enough to reduce their ad breaks to say 10 mins an hour instead of 22.

PS. That last sentence was, of course, monumentally sarcastic.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
badawat Avatar
25 months ago
I’m not sure people understand how the license fee works.

The license fee covers “live broadcasts” and iPlayer, which mostly comprises of a 30 day catchup service. Some programmes are hosted for longer depending on who produced it and for which service. A lot of the content is owned by independent production companies and then licensed to the BBC, same with all the terrestrial UK broadcasters.

The BBC, here, are offering a new service. Post catch up which is clearly way above and beyond live broadcast and the 30 day catch up. People seem fine watching BBC content on Netflix and Amazon Prime, for an additional fee, after this initial free shelf life, so it makes sense for the BBC to do the same in order to ensure more of the aftersales is sent their way.

My main concern however, is that many of these newly announced alternatives to Netflix won’t last very long as there’ll be too many of them, with too much content competing for our wallets. They’ll end up having to be very niche and possibly hosting exclusive content. The BBC and the indies supplying them, rely on coproduction money for its bigger programmes, sometimes with Netflix contributing so not all the content will be exclusive... but Britbox sounds pretty niche for overseas markets! Hopefully it will work for them. It might be better if more UK broadcasters were on board too.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
darkcompass Avatar
25 months ago
Wait for it, someone will mention the TV License.........
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
darkcompass Avatar
25 months ago


ITV and BBC unfortunately are two TV services that users have a good up-to-50-years-worth of user experience where we don't pay for this, because we've already paid. So it'll take quite an offer to change hearts and minds and get people to pony up for this.

***Edit*** Oi, you lot above me in the comments! Yeah, it's a bit hard to talk about this topic without mentioning that particular room sized elephant.

As both the BBC and ITV have to convert those 10-50 year old tapes to digital, a fiver a month might not be a bad price for 40 years of content (and is it's not live/near-live, or iplayer, no need for TV Licence). To make it really work they would have to get BBC Studios to stop selling the content to Netflix and Amazon, making it a singular place to get the content, much like Disney is moving to right now.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
scottishwildcat Avatar
25 months ago

People seem fine watching BBC content on Netflix and Amazon Prime, for an additional fee, after this initial free shelf life, so it makes sense for the BBC to do the same in order to ensure more of the aftersales is sent their way.

I also wouldn't be at all surprised if the BBC and ITV now greatly reduce, if not remove their content from Amazon Prime and Netflix, at least in the UK.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
foldable iPhone concept feature

Apple Testing In-Display Fingerprint Sensor for iPhone 13, Foldable iPhone Also in the Works

Friday January 15, 2021 1:46 pm PST by
Apple has started "early work" on an iPhone that has a foldable display, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Though testing of a foldable iPhone has begun, Apple has not committed to releasing a device that has a foldable display. Development has not yet expanded beyond a display and Apple does not have full foldable iPhone prototypes in its labs. Like foldable...
Apple TV Ray Light 2 Triad

Apple Extends Free Apple TV+ Trials Until July

Friday January 15, 2021 10:50 am PST by
Apple is once again planning to extend its free Apple TV+ trial subscriptions, this time until July. When Apple TV+ launched in November 2019, Apple offered free Apple TV+ subscriptions to those who purchased a new Apple device in or after September 2019. Those free subscriptions were set to expire in November 2020, but in October 2020, Apple announced that it was extending free trials...
macbook pro 16 inch thunderbolt

Bloomberg: Next-Generation MacBook Pro to Offer Improved Displays, Faster Charging Over MagSafe

Thursday January 14, 2021 11:36 pm PST by
Following today's report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlining major changes for the next-generation MacBook Pro models coming in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has weighed in with his own report corroborating some of the details but seemingly differing a bit on others. First, Gurman shares more details on the return of MagSafe charging to the MacBook Pro, indicating...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
pat gelsinger intel

Incoming Intel CEO Derides Company's Inability to 'Deliver Better Products' Than Apple's M1 Chip

Friday January 15, 2021 6:17 am PST by
Incoming Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has said that the company must "deliver better products" than Apple, which he described as a "lifestyle company," and says that Intel's best days are "in front of it" (via The Oregonian). Speaking at an Intel all-hands meeting yesterday, Gelsinger derisively implied that Apple is merely a "lifestyle company," so Intel must be able to surpass its technology: ...
mac pro mini feature

Apple Working on Two New Mac Pro Desktops, One of Which Will Be Reminiscent of Power Mac G4 Cube

Friday January 15, 2021 10:23 am PST by
Apple is developing two versions of the Mac Pro to succeed the Mac Pro that was first released in December 2019, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The first updated Mac Pro is a direct successor to the current Mac Pro and it will use the same design. It may also be equipped with Intel processors rather than Apple silicon chips, and it could be one of the sole machines in the Mac...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...