BritBox UK Streaming Service Launches for £5.99 per Month
Priced at £5.99 a month, the joint-venture between ITV and the BBC is being pitched as an additional streaming service for viewers who want to view classic British television programs and films, rather than as a direct competitor to Netflix.
BritBox will mostly feature classic series like Cracker, Prime Suspect, Brideshead Revisited, Ashes to Ashes, with comedies including Absolutely Fabulous, Extras, Blackadder and Fawlty Towers. Some archive programs that have been on services like Netflix will now move to BritBox.
More than 600 classic episodes of Doctor Who will be available to stream by Christmas, while shows and movies from Channel 4 and Film4's back catalog will be available in 2020, and original shows from Comedy Central UK will also feature.
Other shows available on the service include Downton Abbey, Gavin & Stacey, Wolf Hall, Love Island and Broadchurch, but it will also include new shows, starting with the drama Lambs of God, which stars The Handmaid's Tale's Ann Dowd, The End of the F****** World's Jessica Barden, and Essie Davis from The White Princess as nuns living on a remote island.
However, some of ITV and the BBC's biggest hits of recent years, such as Killing Eve, Peaky Blinders, and Bodyguard, will not be on it at first, either due to deals with other streaming platforms or because they are still on the broadcasters' own catch-up platforms.
The Guardian reports that the streaming venture has been given a major boost through deals with BT, Channel 4, and mobile company EE.
One of the deals will make BritBox available to tens of millions of EE mobile customers across the U.K., while a wider deal with BT – which owns EE – will make Britbox available to the millions of customers who subscribe to its pay-TV service.
Meanwhile, Channel 4 will provide thousands of hours of TV and film content to BritBox as part of a three-year deal, meaning shows from all the U.K.'s main TV channels will be available on one catch-up platform for the first time.
BritBox enters a streaming market long-dominated by Netflix and Amazon Video, but now quickly flooding with rival services jostling for attention. Apple TV+ launched last week featuring $2 billion worth of original programming, while Disney+ is due to arrive on November 12 boasting 500 feature films and over 7,500 shows, including the entire Pixar library and a raft of original content.
BritBox is available in the U.K. via iOS and Android apps, Apple TV, web browsers, and "smart" Samsung TVs released in 2017 or later. BritBox launched in the U.S. two years ago with a different catalog of content and has attracted 650,000 subscribers.