British television giants ITV and the BBC have joined forces to launch a streaming service to rival the likes of Netflix, which has around 150 million paid subscribers worldwide.
The new paid-for streaming service, which has been named BritBox, will mainly feature BBC and ITV shows that are no longer available to watch on TV, while current shows will still appear on the BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub. In addition, there will be new British made films and TV shows added too.
British favourites like Blackadder, Miss Marple and Doctor Who are among some of the shows rumoured to be available on the platform.
Speaking publicly, Soumya Sriraman, BritBox President said, “BritBox offers a single point of access to an extensive collection of outstanding British programming to discover and enjoy.”
Other broadcasters, like Channel 4, are reportedly in talks to join the new service, which has been available to viewers in the US and Canada for some time already.
The ITV Chief Executive, Carolyn McCall, said BritBox is, “complementary to Netflix because it’s doing a very different thing.”
She said Netflix commissioned shows on a global basis but BritBox’s original material would be aimed at UK viewers: “When we’re commissioning content, we’re looking at it working in the UK specifically. It is a permanent, comprehensive home for the widest range of British content available in one place.”
Reports say the service may cost around £5 per month, this has caused backlash online, with viewers wondering why they should pay for the service at all when residents in the UK are already made to pay a TV license fee.
Many social media users have also mocked the name and “underwhelming” branding of BritBox online, comparing it with the National Express logo (see above). On the other hand, some called it patriotic, because of its use of the colours red white and blue.
Dame Carolyn told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme that 43% of all homes which use the Internet are interested in a subscription to BritBox. Are you?