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BBC and ITV confirm plans to launch video-on-demand service in UK

By | Published on Thursday 28 February 2019


The BBC and ITV have confirmed that they are close to agreeing a strategic partnership that will result in the launch of a new video-on-demand service in the UK, offering access to programmes made by the two broadcasters.

It’s the latest attempt by traditional telly-makers in the UK to launch a joint video-on-demand platform, previous alliances resulting in the short-lived SeeSaw and the still going YouView. The new project will actually extend an existing BBC/ITV joint venture service called BritBox, currently operational in North America, back onto home turf.

This is obviously an attempt by the traditional broadcasters to try to take a slice of the now buoyant video streaming market from dominant players Netflix and Amazon Prime. Though, whereas the SeeSaw venture was probably too early, the big UK launch of BritBox has possibly come too late. We’ll see. You know us, always the optimists, never the naysayers.

Bosses at the Beeb and ITV say that they have agreed a creative vision for the new UK-based service and are now talking legals. They will also discuss their plans with other British broadcasters and media regulator OfCom.

Says ITV chief Carolyn McCall: “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”.

Meanwhile BBC top dude Tony Hall adds: “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”.