This is a bold, new step for ITV and BBC as they seek to work together to offer something fresh and distinctive to the public.
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.”
BritBox will tap into the demand for a new British streaming service and the innovative new service will have thousands of hours of the nation’s favourite content from ITV and the BBC (as well as from other British broadcasters and production companies) across a variety of genres, including critically acclaimed drama, crime thrillers, classic comedy and powerful documentaries alongside reality hits and entertainment.
BritBox will be an ITV-controlled venture, but as a founding partner, the BBC will contribute to the development of the core purposes and strategic direction of the venture. ITV initially holds 90% and the BBC holds 10% of the equity. The BBC has an option to acquire additional shares over time up to 25% in total and ITV will have the ability to bring additional investors on board. ITV will be able to appoint a majority of the BritBox board while the BBC’s equity stake provides it with board representation from the outset.
BritBox will have its own dedicated management team led by Reemah Sakaan, Group Director ITV SVOD, responsible for making editorial decisions about the service content while also ensuring alignment with ITV’s and the BBC’s branding and editorial policies. Reemah reports to Kevin Lygo, ITV’s Director of Television, who has overall commissioning responsibility for BritBox.
BritBox will pay market rate fees for all content provided by ITV, BBC and other rights owners.