BBC And ITV Announce New Streaming Service BritBox
The BBC and ITV have announced plans to launch a brand new streaming service called BritBox.
The joint venture promises the biggest collection of British content available on any streaming service, with brand new commissions for British production companies that will be specifically created for BritBox.
Carolyn McCall, CEO of ITV, commented: "I am really pleased that ITV and the BBC are at the concluding stage of discussions to launch a new streaming service.
"BritBox will be the home for the best of British creativity - celebrating the best of the past, the best of today and investing in new British originated content in the future."
BBC Director General, Tony Hall, added: "I am delighted that the BBC and ITV are working together on something truly special - BritBox. A new streaming service delivering the best home grown content to the public who love it best.
"The service will have everything from old favourites to recent shows and brand new commissions. It's an exciting time for the viewing public."
While neither the BBC or ITV can confirm pricing for BritBox at this stage, it will be 'competitive'.
Mark Pocock, home comms expert at BroadbandChoices.co.uk, said the news reflects changes in people's viewing habits - to the point that even 'traditional entertainment institutions' like the BBC risk 'compromising their reputation to keep up'.
"It is interesting to see rival channels BBC and ITV joining forces to create a streaming service," he said.
"However, with Ofcom reporting last July that subscriptions to streaming services overtook 'traditional' pay TV for the first time ever, it's really no surprise that the traditional competitors are looking to team up to fight back.
"People's viewing habits are changing and so networks need to adapt."
Pocock also said the announcement raises more questions than it does answers.
He added: "Can [the BBC] really start charging people extra to pay for the streaming service on top without triggering an exodus?
"With this new commercial focus, will there be a drop in quality of the programmes BBC licence payers currently pay to enjoy, with the bigger, sexier programming being reserved for those who pay to keep up with the original programming seeing heavy investment from Amazon and Netflix?"
It is hoped the service will launch in the second half of 2019.
Featured Image Credit: PA