By Franz Amussen
GOOD NEWS this week for those who just can’t enough of British telly.
BBC Worldwide has teaming up with U.K. broadcaster ITV and AMC Networks to launch a new streaming service called BritBox, which aims to bring the best of British TV to American audiences. The service promises to deliver the largest subscription video-on-demand library of British television anywhere on the market today, and it will be streamed ad-free, the companies said.
BritBox will bring a number of programs that have never been available in the U.S before, ranging from dramas to soaps and other series. Some will even be online as soon as 24 hours after their U.K. broadcast, like Eastenders, Emmerdale and Holby City. Other titles which may be new to U.S. viewers include New Blood, Tutankhamun, The Moonstone, In The Dark, Cold Feet and Silent Witness.
The service will also be filled out with classics like period dramas Brideshead Revisited, Pride and Prejudice, and Upstairs Downstairs; the political thriller State of Play; murder mystery series Inspector Morse and Rosemary and Thyme; and sitcoms like Keeping Up Appearances and Fawlty Towers, among others.
“The BBC and ITV are the two most prolific content producers and broadcasters in British television – both known for their unrivaled, ground-breaking shows,” said Ann Sarnoff, president, BBC Worldwide North America, in a statement. “BritBox will offer a streaming experience like no other, with thousands of hours of programs across a wide variety of genres – some of which will be available right after their UK broadcast. This will be a must-have service for lovers of British television.”
According to the companies’ announcement, BritBox will be available on the web, mobile web, iOS, Android, Roku, AppleTV and Chromecast at launch. While the U.S. will be the debut market for BritBox, the goal is to eventually take the service worldwide.
The service currently offers a month free which then can be continued at $6.99 per month.
BritBox will be competing with Acorn TV, which has been offering access to a wide range of British TV shows for the lower price of $4.99/month or $49.99/year for several years now and is well established in the North American market.