Published: Thu, March 09, 2017
Life&Culture | By Ted Wilson

BBC and ITV's 'BritBox' streaming service arrives in the US

BBC and ITV's 'BritBox' streaming service arrives in the US

Taking aim at the red-hot SVOD market, BBC and ITV have moved ahead with the US launch of BritBox, a service that specializes in British television and sells for $6.99 per month following a seven-day free trial period. New episodes of some current shows, including "EastEnders", "Emmerdale" and "Casualty", will also be available on BritBox as early as 24 hours after airing in the U.K. Roughly 70 percent of the content on BritBox will be exclusive to the service. BritBox will rotate its programs to keep it fresh.

BritBox president Soumya Sriraman intends future acquisitions through licensing, coproductions, and partnerships in an effort to broaden viewer reach, engagement, and retention.

There is certainly a market for British programming in the U.S. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon all continue to license - often exclusively - popular British TV shows.

The service offers access to shows from both the BBC and the largest commercial broadcast network, ITV. "Blackadder" with Rowan Atkinson, the original version of "The Office" with Ricky Gervais, "Gavin & Stacey" with James Corden, and cult darling "Absolutely Fabulous" with Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders, will also be available. It will be a library of classic British comedy and dramas as well as offer up new shows, some within hours of when they air in the UK. "There are so many ways in which we can group programing that will make our service different from others in America".

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The service is available in the US.

BritBox costs Dollars 6.99 per month and is available on the web, mobile (iOS and Android), Roku, AppleTV and Chromecast at launch.

A free trial is available for new users, before the $6.99 per month pricing kicks in. BBC Worldwide added that while the service will be US-only initially, it has an "ambition" to roll it out to other global markets in the future. And, while some classic British shows can already be streamed on Netflix, Hulu, and other services, BritBox will also compete with Acorn TV, the subscription streaming service owned by RLJ Entertainment that features programming from the United Kingdom and a few other countries.

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