The venture will be controlled by ITV, who will have a 90% equity stake, the BBC will hold 10%. 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, leaving the door open for he publicly-owned tChannel 4, and potentially Viacom’s Channel 5.
Britbox will be priced at £5.99 per month for which viewers will receive an HD version available across multiple devices.
It will comprise of archive shows from the broadcasters’ libraries, including what’s described as “the largest collection of British boxsets”, and original commissions.
BritBox will pay market rate fees for content provided by ITV, BBC and other rights owners.
“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 broadcaster,” said ITV CEO Carolyn McCall.
It’s not the first time the two public service broadcasters have worked together. The partners were also at the foundation of ventures including Freeview, Freesat and YouView. They already run Britbox in the US and Canada.
Content such as Gavin & Stacey, Victoria, Happy Valley, Broadchurch, Les Miserables, The Office and Benidorm will be available at launch or, significantly, “when licences with other SVODs end”, a nod to US rivals Netflix and Amazons where the Britbox partners have previously concluded agreements.
“But this service isn’t just about the past,” said BBC director-general Tony Hall. “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.”
The new shows are expected to be commissioned soon and make their debut from 2020.
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.
Consumers who are interested in subscribing to BritBox when it becomes available can register their interest now at www.BritBox.co.uk.
• Ofcom has 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.