BBC Worldwide, ITV Team on U.S. SVOD Service for British Content

Tutankhamun, ITV - Still - H, 2016
Credit: ITV Studios

BritBox is set to launch Q1 2017 and incude new dramas such as 'New Blood,' 'In the Dark,' 'Tutankhamun' and 'The Moonstone.'

BBC Worldwide has partnered with ITV on a new subscription streaming service focused solely on U.K. content. The service, BritBox, is set to launch in the first quarter of 2016, with investment from AMC Networks (which has a joint venture with BBC Worldwide for the cable channel BBC America).

Announced Tuesday, BritBox will include new drama content such as New Blood, In the Dark, Tutankhamun and The Moonstone, alongside season premieres of shows like Cold Feet and Silent Witness and soap operas like EastendersEmmerdale and Holby City that will be available as soon as 24 hours after their U.K. broadcast. 

There will also be a collection of classics from the ITV and BBC archives, such as Brideshead Revisited, Pride and Prejudice, Inspector Morse, Keeping Up Appearances and Fawlty Towers.

BritBox — in which BBC Worldwide and ITV each share an equal majority stake — will be made available online and via mobile, Roku, AppleTV and Chromecast at its launch, while there are also plans to roll the service out to other international markets. 

Analysts were positive about the move, with London-based Liberium saying it gave ITV the potential to be "a significant player" in the U.S. SVOD market and, with the content already produced for the U.K. market, "very high" margins.

media assets that, like Sky, are cheaper in U.S. dollar terms due to the decline of the pound," says one analyst in a report titled "ITV - The Next Bid Target?""]