The BBC and ITV have confirmed plans for a joint UK streaming service that will act as a direct competitor to the likes of Amazon and Netflix.
The two broadcasters are in the “concluding phase” of talks and are reportedly working on a formal agreement to launch the service in the second half of 2019.
While the service is currently a joint venture between the BBC and ITV, it’s thought that other broadcasters and partners will be added to the service too too.
TV chief executive Carolyn McCall said: “We are in the concluding phase of talks with the BBC to establish a strategic partnership to bring BritBox, an exciting new streaming video on demand service, to UK audiences.
“This will provide an unrivalled collection of British boxsets and original series in one place.”
— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) February 27, 2019
BBC director-general Tony Hall said: “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.”
BritBox already exists in North America, where it is used by more than 500,000 subscribers who pay $6.99 a month. It’s yet to be confirmed whether UK users will pay for the service too.
“This success shows the BBC and ITV have the know-how to launch and manage a streaming service and research with the British public shows that there is a real appetite for a new British streaming service – in addition to their current subscriptions,” the BBC said in a statement.