April 30, 2017

BBC and ITV go stateside with $6.99 a month BritBox app

09 March 2017, 12:37 | Sue Hudson

BBC and ITV's 'BritBox' streaming service arrives in the US

BBC & ITV Launch Streaming British TV Service BritBox

Additionally, BritBox will deliver the USA premiere of new programs like Eastenders, New Blood, Tutankhamun, and The Moonstone - as soon as 24 hours after they've aired in the U.K. There are also curated playlists, such as "Very British Beginnings", which reveals actors like Daniel Craig (James Bond) and James Corden (The Late Late Show) early in their careers.

However, notably absent from the list: Sherlock, Downton Abbey, Doctor Who, Top Gear and The Great British Bake Off - some of the most popular shows on either side of the pond.

The service will be available on responsive web, AppleTV, iPhone, iPad and Android mobile phones and tablets, with Roku and Chromecast following shortly after launch. You'll need to have a broad taste in shows, however, as the service seems to offer a wide range of lesser known (in the US) offerings than the big hits you're likely to have access to through BBC America. It's also the exclusive home for the complete series of Sharpe - the Napoleonic Sean Bean extravaganza - and will serve as the United States premieres for the BBC's fresh crime drama New Blood, and ITV's Tutankhamun.

"Among the other titles: "Inspector Morse", "Blackadder", "Are You Being Served?", "Keeping Up Appearances", "Holby City", "Casualty", "New Blood", Tutankhamun", "Cold Feet" and "Silent Witness". That's mostly back catalog content, but new episodes of current series will be added to BritBox as little as a day after airing in the UK.

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It's unclear if BritBox is the service to which Tony Hall, director-general and chairman of BBC Worldwide, was referring when he said in late 2015 that BBC had plans to launch an OTT service in the 2016. Other curated playlists include: "Best of British Comedy", "Iconic Detectives", and "Literary Adaptations".

The service is available in the US.

BritBox will compete against the other streaming service for British content, Acorn TV, which costs $4.99 per month.

BritBox was formed late a year ago as an independent, New York City-based joint venture between BBC Worldwide and ITV, both of which are looking to increase their presence in the U.S.

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