BritBox - BBC and ITV team up to create "best of British" on-demand streaming service

The BBC and ITV intend to launch their own streaming service early next year aimed primarily at the US market, with plans to expand internationally to countries including the UK at a later date.

According to ITV's managing director of online, pay TV and interactive, Simon Pitts, the service will offer "a rich catalogue of classic, new and exclusive shows easily accessible to US viewers in one place".

The new service is apparently not intended to replace either the BBC's iPlayer or ITV Player, both of which are free in the UK, though use of iPlayer does require a TV license. Instead, it will offer subscribers the chance to watch content in a "box set" format after it goes beyond the free 30-day catch-up period currently offered by both current streaming apps for UK residents.

It is not thought that Channel 4 or Channel 5 will be included on the service at this time.

There will be a 'now' category that includes soaps like Eastenders, Emmerdale and other series which must have aired at least 24 hours prior in the UK. There'll also be a 'classics' section which will feature content like Fawlty Towers, Keeping Up Appearances and Pride and Prejudice.

Big name drama's that are penciled in for inclusion on the service include Tutankhamun, Silent Witness and Cold Feet, but the broadcasters have also held talks with NBC Universal, who hold rights to Downton Abbey via one of its production companies.

No pricing has been announced for the new service, but more information is expected when it launches in the first quarter of next year.

Source: The Guardian

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