BBC, ITV Team Up To Launch Netflix Rival BritBox

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ITV and BBC prepare to launch Netflix rival Brit Box in UK

ITV (ITV.L) and the BBC have announced plans to launch a new subscription online streaming service to rival Netflix, dubbed "BritBox".

Speaking about their plans, BBC's Director-General Tony Hall said: "I am delighted that the BBC and ITV are working together on something truly special - BritBox".

The BBC and ITV already operate Britbox in North America, where the service has half a million subscribers.

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BritBox would feature British boxset favourites from Broadchurch to McMafia, as well as shows commissioned especially for the service.

Today, ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall said BritBox will celebrate "the best of the past, the best of today and investing in new British originated content in the future".

The service would be "very good for British creative industries, because we are putting more money into the British creative industry", she added.

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Dame Carolyn told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme that 43% of all homes which use the Internet are interested in a subscription.

The on-demand platform claims to be the "biggest collection of British content available on any streaming service".

Talks regarding the launch of BritBox are now in the "concluding phase". The service will have everything from old favourites to recent shows and brand new commissions. Titles include EastEnders, Fawlty Towers, Doctor Who, and even news shows like Good Morning Britain, which would stream within 24 hours of airing.

ITV and the BBC's commercial arm, then known as BBC Worldwide, first launched BritBox in the USA in December 2016, billing it as an ad-free SVOD offering celebrating "the very best of British TV". "It's an exciting time for the viewing public".

A spokeswoman for broadcasting regulator Ofcom said: "We want to see broadcasters collaborating to keep pace with global players, by offering quality United Kingdom content that's available to viewers whenever and however they want to watch it".

ITV's net investment in BritBox will be up to £25m in 2019, rising to around £40m in 2020 and declining thereafter, according to ITV's full year results report.

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