BritBox streaming service from BBC and ITV launched today

BritBox Launches In The UK After Striking Channel 4 Deal

"Channel 4 has always showcased distinctive and diverse British content and, in a world of nearly unlimited choice, our public-service brand values are more important than ever for viewers", said Alex Mahon, CEO of Channel 4.

It was originally announced as a collaboration between BBC and ITV, with Channel 4 and Channel 5 subsequently getting on board with the platform too.

BritBox, the new paid streaming service from the BBC and ITV, has launched in the UK.

That deal covers factual and entertainment content from Channel 5, and British comedies from Comedy Central UK.

Reemah Sakaan, Group Director ITV SVOD commented: "BritBox is all about bringing together the best of British creativity and talent in a new digital world".

"The new battleground quite often in streaming are shows like Friends, which are over 20 years old", she said. There will be about six scripted originals a year on the service, BritBox management said, without divulging any details.

Alex Mahon, CEO at Channel 4 said: "Channel 4 has always showcased distinctive and diverse British content and, in a world of nearly unlimited choice, our public service brand values are more important than ever for viewers".

It is understood that ITV, which owns the majority of the joint venture with the BBC, has struck an exclusive deal to make BritBox available to tens of millions of EE mobile phone customers across the UK.

In September, BritBox announced its first distribution deals to make the streaming service available on services including YouView, Freeview and Samsung TVs. The service was first beta-tested among ITV staff over the summer, as revealed by our sister title TBI.

The platform is being billed as "the biggest collection of British box sets available in one place".

There are also curated collections of content from personalities such as Sheridan Smith, Samson Kayo and James Nesbitt.

Some sources believe that BritBox will miss its launch deadline and not go live until next year; others say it is expected to be up and running "within two weeks".

More shows from the BBC and ITV will appear as the licence agreements with services like Netflix come to a close.

Meanwhile, all seasons of classic Doctor Who, broadcast between 1963 and 1989, will land on the platform from 26 December onwards.

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