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BBC Studios All-In On BritBox International After Full Ownership Deal

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Britbox app featuring new content

The BBC, via its BBC Studios business, has now taken full ownership of BritBox International, the streaming service and platform enjoyed by millions of subscribers across eight countries, including the USA and Canada.

BritBox originally launched in 2017 as a joint venture between the BBC and ITV, offering international audiences access to content from the libraries of both broadcasters. However, BBC Studios has now acquired all of BritBox International, after buying out ITV’s stake for £255 million ($322 million).

The buyout results in BritBox International becoming part of BBC Studios’ Global Media & Streaming division, and Reemah Sakaan stepping down as CEO of BritBox International.

This is an important acquisition for us. We are taking full ownership of a successful, growing service we know well and that fits with our stated ambition to double the size of our business. BritBox International has British content at its heart and it generates and satisfies demand for British shows outside the UK. We will continue to make significant investments in the future to deliver long term value to the BBC,” said Tom Fussell, BBC Studios CEO.

While this effectively removes ITV from BritBox, BBC Studios has confirmed that a licensing deal extension was agreed. This updated agreement ensures ITV’s content remains available to international subscribers, including those based in the United States. From ITV’s perspective, the extended licensing agreement also ensures the broadcaster continues to receive a revenue stream from the subscription service.

Unlike BritBox International, BritBox UK is a completely different business and remains unaffected by the BBC’s purchase of ITV’s share.

In addition to BritBox UK, both broadcasters also offer UK consumers access to their own direct-to-consumer streaming platforms. BBC offers its BBC iPlayer service, while ITV offers its ad-supported ITVX, along with the option to go ad-free (ITVX Premium) for £5.99/month or £59.99/year.

John Finn

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