BritBoxSource: itv

What you need to know

  • BritBox has launched in the UK.
  • The streaming service offers shows from ITV, BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5.
  • The service will cost £5.99 a month, on top of your TV license.

BritBox has announced that its streaming service is launching in the UK.

As reported by the BBC, BritBox gives users access to a raft of content from ITV, BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5 including popular shows such as Downton Abbey, Gavin & Stacey, and Love Island.

The service will cost £5.99 and features mostly classic series from the respective channels such as Ashes to Ashes, Blackadder and Fawlty Towers, as well as 600 episodes of Doctor Who from 1963-1989. (because why not?) It also promises shows and films from Channel 4, as well as Film4's back catalog.

ITV group director for streaming Reemah Sakaan said:

"It's got the widest range of UK box sets of any service... Ostensibly the other streamers are US-focused so they make dramas for the US market, whereas BritBox is the faces, people and places that you know.

For some time we've been bringing our shows back home and now that we've got a destination in BritBox, that's something we'll be doing more actively. We'll still be working in partnership with Netflix and Amazon and all of the other streamers."

Sakaan also said that old shows are the new battleground of streaming, citing the popularity of shows like Friends, which is 20 years old.

The price point of £5.99 means BritBox is now in direct competition with Apple TV+ in the UK, as least where price is concerned. The two offer vastly different content catalogs and user experiences. Perhaps, the release of BritBox may persuade UK users to stray from Apple TV+, given that for just a pound more each month, they can access a much larger library of content, much of which will be familiar and still quite popular.

Over on Twitter, the news has drawn mostly ire from disgruntled Brits, unhappy at the prospect of having to pay for a streaming service they have arguably already paid for once with their TV licenses. More surprisingly going forward, shows that are available on BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and All 4 will not appear on BritBox until they have left their respective catch-up services. This means you'll be able to watch all future content for free prior to it being moved to BritBox, where the privilege will cost you £5.99 a month.

BritBox is available in the UK for iOS and Android, as well as Apple TV, the web and some smart Samsung TVs. Thanks to a big deal with BT, EE customers in the UK who pay for EE TV will get BritBox included!

UK streaming

BritBox

Now available in the UK!

Get the best of BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and 5 for just £5.99 month, and get your first 30 days free!