Netflix faces new rival in the UK
UK television network ITV has teamed up with the BBC on a streaming product that gives British audiences a new alternative to Netflix.
BritBox will debut in the final three months of this year, the networks announced Friday. For £5.99 ($7.50) per month, users will get access to older shows and new HD programming across multiple screens.
The back catalog will include popular series like Victoria and Love Island.
Price could be a major selling point. BritBox will cost the same as a basic Netflix subscription but it’s £3 ($3.75) cheaper than the American company’s HD offering.
“Together, we have been responsible for delivering the majority of ‘must see’ moments on British TV over the last decade,” BBC director general Tony Hall said in a statement. “That ‘must see’ content will now be on BritBox.”
ITV will initially own 90% of the joint venture, but the BBC has the option to increase its stake from 10% to 25%. BritBox is already available in the United States and Canada.
Netflix has more than 150 million subscribers. But it revealed earlier this week that only 2.7 million new users signed up in the second quarter, roughly half the number that analysts had expected.
There’s more trouble on the horizon. Big Tech and Big Media, with their deep pockets and even deeper libraries, are entering the market in the hope of removing the company from its spot on the streaming throne.
Disney, Apple, NBCUniversal, and CNN parent company WarnerMedia, will launch streaming services over the next year.
The companies are bringing their own slate of what they hope will be must-see TV, and some are even pulling the shows they licensed to Netflix for use on their own platforms.
UK media regulator Ofcom published survey data last year suggesting that Netflix had 9.1 million UK subscribers.