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BBC and ITV to launch streaming service Britbox

27 February 2019

Ms McCall said ITV would honour existing agreements with other streaming services which pay for some of the broadcaster's back catalogue.

The two organisations have been discussing a joint service for several years but today confirmed they are in the "concluding phase of talks" to establish a "transformational" streamer to be known as BritBox, which will launch in the second half of the year.

BritBox aims to offer "the biggest collection of British content available on any streaming service", with boxsets and original series available for on-demand viewing.

Broadcasters BBC and ITV are planning a joint United Kingdom streaming service to take on competition from the likes of Netflix and Amazon.

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Legal formalities are now being worked out, with BBCS and ITV "anticipating that other partners will be added to BritBox and both will speak to regulators and the wider industry about their proposals".

Dame Carolyn McCall, ITV's chief executive, said that the service would be "competitively priced" and "very good value" for households who wanted to watch more British-produced television. ITV are expected to invest £25m into the venture this year and £40m more in 2020.

"I am delighted that the BBC and ITV are working together on something truly special - BritBox", added BBC Director General, Tony Hall.

The broadcasters said it would boast the biggest collection of British content on any streaming service and will feature "old favourites", recent shows and new commissions produced specifically for BritBox. It will be a mix of library shows from the BBC and ITV and will also include new commissions from British production companies.

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He said research had shown viewers embraced streaming and would be willing to add the service to current subscriptions, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Sky.

ITV, home of soap opera "Coronation Street" and reality show "Love Island", announced the tie-up along with 2018 adjusted earnings down 4 percent to 810 million pounds, slightly ahead of forecasts by Citi analysts.

ITV shares were down nearly 2 percent in early trading.

On-screen performance was strong, but economic and political uncertainty in Britain would cause advertising revenue for the first four months of 2019 to fall by 3-4 percent, it said.

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BBC and ITV to launch streaming service Britbox