BBC and ITV partner to launch Netflix-rival streaming service BritBox

ITV and BBC’s Brit Box service

ITV and BBC’s Brit Box service

There will be "one permanent, comprehensive home where anyone in Britain can get all of our library content - both the ITV and BBC library - in one place and they can watch it anytime, anywhere", she told Today.

While UK viewers have had to make do with BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub catch-up services, the joint BritBox platform looks set to be a one-stop platform for the biggest British shows and programmes, and will be increasingly crucial for the long-term survival of these British broadcasters.

Until BritBox becomes more of a global service, though, both BBC and ITV will likely still be reliant on Netflix and other middle-man streaming platforms to bring their content outside of the United Kingdom and US.

The BBC, home to crime drama Luther, and ITV, maker of Love Island and I'm A Celebrity, are in the "concluding phase of talks" to create a rival to Netflix.

Chief Executive Carolyn McCall said on Wednesday the partnership, which is close to being concluded, would bring a new video-on-demand offering to British audiences.

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"I am delighted that the BBC and ITV are working together on something truly special - BritBox. It's an exciting time for the viewing public".

The service, which will launch in the second half of 2019, will be priced competitively, the two companies said, without giving details.

The decision to launch the service comes a decade after Ofcom blocked Project Kangaroo, a proposal for a similar British cross-channel streaming service, on competition grounds.

The new venture is not meant to replace the BBC's iPlayer or the ITV Hub and is expected to have box sets from the BBC and ITV archives with some new commissions. While neither the BBC or ITV can confirm pricing at this stage, it will be competitive. BARB data shows that more households are taking multiple subscriptions - while the annual growth in homes with any SVOD service is 20%, the growth in homes with multiple services is 32% with 4 million homes now having more than one subscription. This would be in addition to their current subscriptions.

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