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Soumya Sriraman has been appointed president, North America of the soon-to-launch subscription video on demand service BritBox, a joint venture between BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, and ITV.
Her appointment is effective immediately. Sriraman, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the entertainment industry, was most recently executive vp franchise and digital enterprises at BBC Worldwide North America. Her successor in that role will be announced in the coming weeks.
BritBox has said it would launch in North America this quarter with expectations that it would also come to other markets over time.
In her new role, Sriraman will be responsible for “the overall strategy and operation of BritBox, with a focus on bringing the best British content to the service through acquisitions, licensing, co-productions and key partnerships, with an emphasis on reach, engagement and retention,” the partners said.
At BBC Worldwide North America, she maximized distribution outlets, developed new products and grew the company’s digital and physical franchise businesses. She also built a lineup of cinema events for such BBC properties as Doctor Who and BBC Earth.
Prior to joining BBC Worldwide North America, Sriraman was CEO of Palisades Tartan, a British/American film distribution company. She previously also held senior executive positions at Universal, Warner and Vivendi.
“Soumya has an outstanding historical knowledge and familiarity with British content. This, coupled with her creativity and excellent business acumen, makes her the ideal executive to fill this role,” said Ann Sarnoff, president, BBC Worldwide North America. “I am confident that Soumya is going to make this service a success, as she has done in all her endeavors for the last five years at BBC Worldwide North America.”
Simon Pitts, ITV managing director of online, pay TV and interactive, said: “BritBox is a very exciting development for fans of British TV and a natural next step in ITV’s growth as a global production and distribution business. I’m delighted that we have someone with Soumya’s knowledge, experience and passion for British content spearheading the service as we prepare for the U.S. launch.”
Sriraman herself said: “I have personally waited a long time for a service with an offering like this — one with a breadth and depth of compelling content from powerful content producers like the BBC and ITV — all in one place. It is a great privilege to lead this team and bring this service to American audiences.”
BritBox is launching with an investment from AMC Networks, which has a joint venture with BBC Worldwide for cable channel BBC America. BritBox will include new dramas, such as New Blood, In the Dark, Tutankhamun and The Moonstone, as well as season premieres of such shows as Cold Feet and Silent Witness and U.K. soap operas like EastEnders and Emmerdale that will be available as soon as 24 hours after their airing in Britain. There will also be a collection of classics from the ITV and BBC archives, such as Pride and Prejudice, Inspector Morse, Keeping Up Appearances and Fawlty Towers.
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