ITV & BBC set aside rivalries with BritBox UK go-ahead

ITV & BBC cease rivalries with BritBox UK go-ahead

The BBC and ITV are to set aside their differences to bring their one-stop-shop streaming service to UK shores for the first time.

In a long-awaited move, the pair downed weapons and confirmed they would launch BritBox in Britain in the fourth quarter of this year as the pair face up to an even greater foe in the form of Netflix and a pending wave of similar streaming hopefuls.

For a monthly fee of £5.99 subscribers will be able to stream hit shows from both sides of the terrestrial TV divide in HD, bringing the likes of Love Island and Gavin & Stacey together for the first time.

Both broadcasters have also committed to supporting their new platform with specially commissioned new programming which should become available from next year.

The new streaming service will co-exist alongside the more established BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub, with content continuing to be made available on both free of charge before migrating to Britbox.

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

ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall added: “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.”

Media is watchdog Ofcom also released its report into the impact of the impartiality of the BBC in entering into the deal in the UK, stating:

“We have 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.

“We will publish a final decision by early September, taking account of any further industry feedback and evidence.”

Britbox has already enjoyed success in the US where it has established itself as a niche player for anglophile viewers, drawing 650,000 viewers under its wing.

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