Britbox: BBC and ITV set out plans for new streaming service

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Shows like Love Island, Gavin & Stacey, Gentleman Jack and Broadchurch will be on BBC and ITV’s streaming service Britbox when it launches this year.

The broadcasters are joining forces to set up the subscription service in the UK as a rival to the likes of Netflix.

It will cost £5.99 per month in HD, launching between October and the end of December.

New programmes will also be made specially for Britbox, with the first arriving next year.

Other existing series to be made available will include Victoria, Happy Valley, Les Miserables, The Office and Benidorm.

How will Britbox work?

The £5.99 monthly HD fee will cover multiple screens and devices, “which is less than other streaming services”, a statement said.

ITV and BBC programmes will move on to Britbox after they have been broadcast on TV and fallen off the broadcasters’ own (free) catch-up services – BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub. The BBC is expected to get permission from regulator Ofcom to keep shows on iPlayer for a year as standard.

As well as recent shows, it will also be the home of thousands of hours of classic British comedy and drama.

BBC director general Tony Hall said the new shows made specifically for Britbox would be “future classics”.

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Broadchurch will be one of the shows on offer

“These are exciting times for people who love quality TV,” Lord Hall said. “Importantly, these shows will be truly British, showcasing our culture and telling distinctive stories.”

The BBC and ITV launched Britbox in North America in 2017, showing programmes like Midsomer Murders, Poirot and Only Fools and Horses. It now has 650,000 subscribers, which ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall said was “exceeding its targets”.

McCall said the agreement to launch BritBox in the UK was “a milestone moment”. She said: “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.”

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