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British Invasion: 'BritBox' SVOD Service Launches in the U.S.

9 Mar, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

BBC/ITV joint venture ups competition to RLJ Entertainment’s Acorn TV, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, among others

BBC Worldwide and ITV have quietly launched BritBox, a subscription-streaming platform, in the United States. The $6.99 monthly service (with a free seven-day trial) is available online, and on iOS and Android devices. It will be available on Roku and Google Chromecast in the future.

Dubbed the “biggest streaming collection of British TV … ever,” the service features thousands of hours of programming, including catalog and new series. A unique “Now” option features British soaps just 24 hours after their U.K. broadcast. Another showcases British stars early in their career.

Genres include drama, mystery, comedy, documentaries and lifestyle.

“BBC and ITV are known for a vast array of diverse and award-winning programming that fans in the U.S. love and want to watch,” Soumya Sriraman, president of BritBox, said in a statement. “Those fans now have a one-of-a-kind SVOD service option that offers a single point of access to an extensive collection of outstanding British programming to discover and enjoy.”

With the success of BBC America and original British fare on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, BritBox poses an interesting challenge to Acorn TV, RLJ Entertainment’s British-centric SVOD service launched in 2011.

Acorn TV, which doubled its subscriber base last year to 430,000 subs, costs $4.99 (with a free 7-day trial) featuring shows such as “Agatha Raisin,” “Doc Martin,” “Murdoch Mysteries,” “Jack Irish” with Guy Pearce, “The Code” and “A Place to Call Home,” among others.

“We believe the rapid growth in subscribers confirms our strategy to bring high quality niche content to passionate audiences,” Miguel Penella, CEO of RLJ Entertainment, said in February.

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