October 22, 2020
October 22, 2020

Will the BBC and ITV’s BritBox be a hit or a flop?



The BBC and ITV’s partnership on the BritBox streaming service is a move born of necessity.

Both have long been aware that they are losing ground to Netflix and other rival TV services – but previous attempts to compete in that arena have been stymied by regulators.

Back in 2008, they had plans to launch a joint service along with Channel 4, called Project Kangaroo.

But the Competition Commission blocked it after lobbying by commercial rivals.

Cost and content

Most of the details of the service, due to become available in the second half of 2019, are yet to be announced. The price, for instance.

But Tom Harrington, senior researcher at Enders Analysis, said it was unlikely to be more than £5.99 a month.

“Anything more and people are going to start comparing it to Netflix,” he told the BBC.

“It’s not going to be anything like Netflix in terms of scale or size.”

Another issue that has yet to be resolved is the kind of content that will be available.

Mr Harrington said he expected to see ITV dramas such as Inspector Morse, Midsomer Murders and Endeavour in the line-up.

“Excellent programmes, but these are the sort of things that people expect to get for free as part of their licence fee,” he said.

Judging by the responses from people contacted by BBC News on Twitter, that does seem to be the biggest sticking point.

“We have paid for the BBC content already,” said Martin Holme.

“Why should we pay more to see the same old stuff?” replied Ian Gatward.

“Must have new and exclusive content not on the networks,” said Peter Jones. “If it does not, then no thanks, we don’t need another streaming service with the same old stuff.”

The BritBox streaming service already operates in North America, where it has 500,000 subscribers. By contrast, Netflix has 139 million subscribers globally

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