BBC, ITV to launch new Netflix-rivalling streaming service BritBox in the UK

Platform will feature original shows and the "biggest" collection of British TV boxsets

The BBC and ITV have announced plans to launch BritBox, a Netflix-rivalling streaming service, in the UK.

BritBox is already available in the United States and Canada, pitching itself as the home of outstanding British television.

Content ranges from the latest episodes of soaps Coronation Street and EastEnders, to archive programming such as classic Doctor Who.

Launched in 2017, it now has over half a million subscribers across the pond, a number that has exceeded expectations.

Now the two telly titans have confirmed that they want to bring the “transformational” platform to its home country.

BritBox would give users access to “biggest collection of British content available on any streaming service” on demand.

More significantly, bosses will also commission original programming from British production companies, exclusive to the service.

The Beeb and ITV will finalise talks over their partnership before consulting regulators and the “wider industry” about their proposals.

According to the broadcasters, research indicates there’s an appetite among UK viewers for a homegrown streaming brand – even in addition to their existing TV subscriptions.

ITV CEO Carolyn McCall commented: “I am really pleased that ITV and the BBC are at the concluding stage of discussions to launch a new streaming service.

“BritBox will be the home for the best of British creativity – celebrating the best of the past, the best of today and investing in new British originated content in the future.”

BBC Director General Tony Hall said: “I am delighted that the BBC and ITV are working together on something truly special – BritBox. A new streaming service delivering the best home-grown content to the public who love it best.

“The service will have everything from old favourites to recent shows and brand new commissions. It’s an exciting time for the viewing public.”

Assuming everything goes to plan, BritBox will launch in the second half of 2019. Chiefs are yet to confirm pricing, but it will apparently be “competitive”.

It is not replacing BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub, which will remain available as free catch-up destinations for recent shows.

More and more established media brands are now considering creating their own rivals to Netflix, which has become one of the world’s fastest-growing companies.

Famous for shows such as Black Mirror and Stranger Things, it has amassed over 137million subscribers.