Ofcom clears launch of BritBox in UK; to rival Netflix

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A new digital platform to rival Netflix and Amazon Prime Video has been confirmed to launch in the UK.

BritBox, which will carry shows from the BBC and ITV, will be available in the UK between October and the end of December. BritBox will be competitively priced at £5.99 per month in HD and across multiple screens and devices, which is less than other streaming services.

BritBox will also carry original programmes, which are expected to launch sometime next year. Other programmes that will be available on the platform include ‘Love Island’, ‘Famalam’, ‘Cleaning Up’ and ‘Gentleman Jack’ as well as home iconic shows such as ‘Gavin And Stacey’, ‘Victoria’, ‘Happy Valley’, ‘Broadchurch’, ‘Les Miserables’, ‘The Office’ and ‘Benidorm’.

Carolyn McCall, CEO of ITV, says, “The agreement to launch BritBox is a milestone moment. Subscription video on demand is increasingly popular with consumers who love being able to watch what they want when they want to watch it. They are also happy to pay for this ease of access to quality content and so BritBox is tapping into this, and a new revenue stream for UK public service broadcasters.

“ITV and BBC have made, and continue to make, the programmes that both reflect and shape British culture and creativity. We now look forward to working together to launch the largest collection of British boxsets ever – bringing the very best in past, present and future British programming and award-winning content to viewers all in one place.

“We are already working together on BritBox in the US and Canada and this is proving to be very successful, exceeding its targets.

“We are committed to making BritBox UK a great success. Discussions continue with other content and distribution partners and we are looking forward to making further announcements in the coming months.”

BBC Director General, Tony Hall, says, “We have a world beating TV industry with outstanding content. The BBC and ITV are at the centre of that. Together, we have been responsible for delivering the majority of “must see” moments on British TV over the last decade. That ‘must see’ content will now be on BritBox.

“But this service isn’t just about the past. I am really excited about the new shows it will commission. With a remit to be daring and different, many future classics will be commissioned and live on BritBox for the future. These are exciting times for people who love quality TV. Importantly, these shows will be truly British, showcasing our culture and telling distinctive stories. It’s what makes real British TV so special.”

Meanwhile, media regulator, Ofcom cleared the pave for BritBox to launch in the UK. Ofcom was required to make this assessment under the Charter and Agreement. In its findings, Ofcom concluded:

– The BBC’s proposed involvement is unlikely to distort the market;
– BritBox is unlikely to gain an unfair competitive advantage as a result of its relationship with the BBC’s public-service work.

Ofcom provisionally concluded that the BBC’s involvement in the BritBox service is not a material change to its commercial activities, and no further assessment is required ahead of its launch.

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