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Netflix $500m British TV, Movie Investment Threatens BBC

Netflix has announced a $500 million (USD) investment into British-made television and movies, increasing its $15 billion global licensing and production bill to expand into the UK.

The US streaming giant move across the pond threatens local rivals, with ITV Plc and the British Broadcasting Corp (BBC), preparing their subscription video service called BritBox.

Described by ITV as a service that aims to monetise the companies’ back catalogues, BritBox may exist to prevent the likes of Netflix and Amazon from getting their hands on licensed content.

According to the UK’s communication regulator Oxfam, UK producers who have sold content to the BBC will have to keep it off the broader SVOD market for 18 months, meaning that Netflix and Amazon cannot bid for it.

Despite the regulations, Netflix looks to be pushing towards producing original content rather than purchasing content licence deals.

As part of a ten-year-deal Netflix will be taking over Shepperton Studios in October to guarantee production space.

Reed Hastings, Netflix Chief Executive, said that UK had the second-biggest production budget after the US while speaking at the Royal Television Society Conference.

Netflix has doubled its European budget from 2018 to over $1 billion, with 221 projects and 153 originals.

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