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BBC Studios and ITV said on Tuesday that their joint streaming venture BritBox will launch in South Africa in the second half of 2021.
With the introduction in the country, the advertising-free subscription VOD service will expand into its fifth territory following successful launches in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, and, most recently, Australia.
Last year, BritBox executives unveiled plans for a global rollout to get the streaming platform into up to 25 new countries and bring audiences “an unrivalled collection of great British TV shows and the very best in British box sets, drama premieres and live events, as well as original commissions.”
Tuesday’s announcement highlighted that “both BBC and ITV have a strong existing relationship with South African TV audiences, with a high demand for British content already witnessed through linear channels ITV Choice and BBC First,” adding: “The launch of BritBox in South Africa will enable consumers to retain access to their favorite British dramas following the recent closure of both TV channels.”
BritBox first launched in North America in March 2017 and said this past fall that it had surpassed 1.5 million subscribers. In the U.K., BritBox launched in November 2019, followed by Australia in November 2020.
The South African streamer will operate as a 50:50 venture between ITV and BBC Studios, the commercial arm of British public broadcaster BBC.
Said Martin Goswami, group strategic partnership and distribution director at ITV: “The launch of BritBox in South Africa is yet another step in the platform’s trajectory towards international expansion. We’re delighted to bring the service to a brand new territory and continue towards establishing BritBox as a premium VOD brand across the world.”
And Paul Dempsey, president, global distribution at BBC Studios, added: “We know that South African audiences have a real connection to British television, and we can’t wait to bring them even more great shows, on demand, that we know they will love.”
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