ITV and BBC’s digital video subscription service BritBox has signed agreements with both Channel 5 and Comedy Central to bolster its lineup.The Viacom owned channels join BritBox progenitors ITV and BBC to add hundreds of hours of British flavoured content when the service launches in Q4 of 2019.
Under the arrangement, box-sets from Channel 5 will be available on BritBox following a 30-day catch-up window on the My5 service.
Arran Tindall, Senior Vice President, Commercial & Content Distribution, Viacom International Media Networks said, “Under Viacom’s ownership we have significantly increased Channel 5’s investment in original UK content and we’re delighted to bring our popular homegrown content to an even wider audience through BritBox, alongside a selection of Comedy Central’s much-loved UK programming.”
Formed by the BBC and ITV as a response to the rising number of streaming services available, especially the US-centric likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, the ‘best of British’ feel to the content already sees the likes of Victoria, Happy Valley, Broadchurch, Les Miserables, Downton Abbey, Love Island, Gentleman Jack, Gavin & Stacey, The Office and Benidorm either available at launch or coming online once existing licences with other SVODs end.
Reemah Sakaan, Group Launch Director for ITV SVOD commented, “We are thrilled to announce that another British Public Service Broadcaster is joining BritBox, ensuring that we offer viewers the very best of British creativity across a variety of genres.”
BritBox is continuing to look for partners in the service to provide and distribute content, and announcements will be made about further agreements in due course. At one point Channel 4 looked to be interested in joining the service but their free, ad-based All4 catch up service is at odds with BritBox’s subscription, ad-free model and the talks stalled.
A recent Ofcom ruling also allows BBC’s iPlayer service to retain shows for up to a year after broadcast, after which they will move to the BritBox library.
Britbox will cost £5.99 per month and include HD, plus availability on multiple devices at once as standard. There’s no specific launch date but a proposed unveiling is due in the last three months of the year.
Is a ‘Best of British’ streaming service containing boxsets of beloved homegrown shows something that appeals to AVForums members? Where does it feature on the list of upcoming streaming services for you?
Source: Press release
Image Source: ITV Twitter
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