BBC and ITV's BritBox Launches With 'Fawlty Towers,' 'Prime Suspect,' 'Absolutely Fabulous'

Posted March 09, 2017

On Tuesday BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, and U.K.'s biggest broadcaster ITV are launching BritBox, a $6.99-per-month, ad-free subscription streaming service current and classic British TV shows across genres. "NW", a story of two friends adapted from Zadie Smith's global best-selling novel, will arrive this spring. That includes new episodes of somecurrent series (Eastenders, Emmerdale, Holby City, Casualty) that will be available to subscribers as soon as 24 hours after they air in the United Kingdom.

Shows are organized on the service in simple groupings.

BritBox is a new streaming service, like Netflix or Amazon Prime, except it's completely dedicated to British TV.

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In total, there are over 2,000 of hours of programing available at launch.

Meanwhile, the "Our Favorites" section will help new users get started with suggested "playlists" of content. One example is "Very British Beginnings", a playlist that showcases actors such as Daniel Craig, Emily Blunt, and James Corden early in their careers.

In addition, BritBox also offers exclusive access to certain classic shows that include British comedies As Time Goes By and Are You Being Served? as well as detective dramas such as Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple and Inspector Morse.

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For U.S. users, the service may be a hard sell. AMC Networks, which also has a joint venture with BBC Worldwide for the cable channel BBC America, is involved in the project as well.

BritBox is now available for $6.99 per month after a 7-day free trial-making it affordable to add on along with viewer's Netflix subscriptions.

BritBox, which will tangle with competitors such as Acorn TV, is debuting on several platforms, including Web browsers, Apple TV devices and iOS and Android mobile devices, with plans underway to extend access to Roku players, Chromecast streaming adapters shortly after today's launch. BBC Worldwide added that while the service will be US-only initially, it has an "ambition" to roll it out to other global markets in the future.

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