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BritBox New UK Video Service Rolls Out Today

A new video on demand service is set to be released in Australia today, called BritBox the business which is a joint BBC and UK ITV initiative has access to years of high-quality British drama.Pricing for BritBox has not been announced but they will have all the Dr Who shows from 1963 through to 2019 – as well as new exclusive content – such as a remake of All Creatures Great and Small – made for the platform as a marketing incentive for people to sign up.

The service is seen as a competitor to Stan, Binge, Netflix, and Disney services.

The two major English media organisations have already launched the service in three other markets, Canada, USA, and the UK Australia marks the fourth country.

Ms Moira Horgan, a former Network Ten executive who is heading up the Australian operation told the AFR “We have a complete arm’s length relationship with BBC and ITV, so we negotiate with their sales teams directly. We have legal contracts in place, and we pay fair market rates for what we’ve managed to acquire,” Ms Horgan said.

Recently the BBC re-signed content deals with Foxtel and Fetch in 2019 and has other agreements with free-to-air broadcasters and Stan, Nine’s streaming service.

The AFR said that BritBox enters a highly competitive streaming space in Australia. Since 2015 and the launch of Stan and Netflix, streaming has exploded, including the launch of Amazon Prime Video, Ten All-Access (which will rebrand and relaunch next year as Paramount TV), Optus Sport, Hayu and Foxtel’s sports streaming service Kayo. In November last year Apple launched Apple TV+, Disney launched Disney+ and in May 2020, Foxtel introduced Binge.

Horgan said “We feel pretty lucky that we are part of the BBC and ITV because they are content powerhouses, and completely acknowledge the Australian market is a competitive landscape for streaming services. But, COVID has certainly told us there is an appetite for streaming, an increase in streaming and also streaming to different audiences – so older audiences picking up streaming as well,” Ms Horgan said.

“We think there is a really big opportunity for us at the moment. We know there is a great heritage of Australians loving British content. So, we think we can really find our place in the landscape by collecting all that great British content, particularly drama and comedy, and really making it easy to find in a place for people.”

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