BritBox, a streaming service showing the best of British TV, arrives in the US next year
Good news for anglophilesBy Rob Thubron
If your love of British television programs extends beyond Doctor Who, Top Gear, and Monty Python, you'll be pleased to know that the country's two major TV networks are teaming up for a Netflix-style streaming service that brings the best of UK television to the US.
Ad-free subscription service BritBox is expected to launch during the first quarter of next year. The result of a collaboration between BBC Worldwide, UK broadcaster ITV, and AMC Networks, it will provide the most comprehensive collection of British content on the market today.
With BritBox, US viewers will get the chance to watch some of Britain's most popular soaps, such as EastEnders and Emmerdale, within 24 hours after they're aired in the UK. It will also show a host of other titles new to US audiences, alongside period dramas such as Brideshead Revisited, Pride and Prejudice, and Upstairs Downstairs. Additionally, BritBox's library will contain classic sitcoms such as Keeping up Appearances and the brilliant Fawlty Towers, which stars former Python John Cleese.
"The BBC and ITV each have a long history of creating spectacular premium content and some of the most iconic shows on television," Josh Sapan, president and CEO of AMC Networks, told Variety. "We are delighted to expand our current partnership with BBC Worldwide and view this investment as a strategic opportunity for AMC Networks to participate in a digital platform dedicated to offering shows of the highest quality."
As noted by Engadget, the new service is unlikely to result in flagship shows like Doctor Who and Top Gear being taken off cable and placed behind a paywall.
There's no word yet on how much a BritBox subscription will cost, but it's expected to be around the $8 - $10 mark. It will be available on the web, mobile web, iOS, Android, Roku, AppleTV and Chromecast at launch, and will eventually expand to other locations.