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
44 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
44 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
44 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
44 months ago
Wait for it, someone will mention the TV License.........
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
darkcompass Avatar
44 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
44 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)

Popular Stories

top stories 2jul2022

Top Stories: M2 MacBook Air Release Date, New HomePod Rumor, and More

Saturday July 2, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The M2 MacBook Pro has started making its way into customers' hands and we're learning more about how it performs in a variety of situations, but all eyes are really on the upcoming M2 MacBook Air which has seen a complete redesign and should be arriving in a couple of weeks. Other top stories this week included a host of product rumors including additional M2 and even M3 Macs, an updated...
Mac Studio IO

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished Mac Studio Models

Thursday June 30, 2022 7:42 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling refurbished Mac Studio models for the first time in the United States, Canada, and select European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, two refurbished Mac Studio configurations are currently available, including one with the M1 Max chip (10-core CPU and 24-core GPU) for...
airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 No Longer Expected to Feature Built-In Heart Rate or Body Temperature Sensor

Sunday July 3, 2022 8:07 pm PDT by
While past rumors have indicated the upcoming second-generation AirPods Pro will feature a built-in heart rate and body temperature sensor, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has cast doubt on those rumors turning out to be true, saying instead such a feature is unlikely to come anytime soon. "Over the past few months, there have been rumors about this year's model gaining the ability to determine a...
Apple Watch 8 Unreleased Feature Thumb

Apple Watch Series 8 Model Rumored to Feature 5% Larger Display

Monday July 4, 2022 5:50 am PDT by
Apple is working on an Apple Watch Series 8 model with a larger display, according to DSCC's Ross Young and Haitong International Securities's Jeff Pu. In October last year, Young suggested that the Apple Watch Series 8 could come in three display sizes. Now, responding to a query about the rumor on Twitter, Young claims that the additional display size joining the Apple Watch lineup will be ...
macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...