What is Britbox UK?
It wasn’t that long ago when there were only a couple of options for streaming content to your TV. Over the last year, the marketplace has grown drastically. Most recently, Disney and Apple have made a splash announcing their services. Now, there is yet another new service coming to the lineup. Britbox has been available in the United States since 2017 and already has over half a million subscribers, and now, it is finally arriving in the U.K.
What is Britbox?
Britbox is a U.K. based joint venture between ITV (a British over-the-air TV channel) and the BBC. It is a paid streaming service that offers access to an archive of British TV shows, new shows from the BBC and ITV and, like other streaming services, is developing new, original programming. In terms of access to existing shows, Britbox includes recent series such as Tutankhamun, Cold Feet and Silent Witness, EastEnders, and Emmerdale. The service also offers classics like Pride and Prejudice, Doctor Who, Inspector Morse, and Fawlty Towers.
Britbox: What about Original Content?
In the U.S. and Canada, Britbox aired its first original, crime drama “The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco,” in July of 2018. Earlier this year, the service announced a new multi-series collaboration with Oscar-nominated writer-producer Jeff Pope. BritBox is co-producing Pope’s new dramas “The Barking Murders” and “The Hatton Garden Heist” with the BBC. However, given that Britbox is a joint venture with ITV and the BBC, it can be difficult to tell where ITV and the BBC end and Britbox begins. This means it may be challenging to know what original content will air exclusively on Britbox and what may be available on existing channels.
When Will Britbox UK Be Available?
While Britbox is already available in the U.S., U.K. viewers will need to wait a bit longer. Exactly how much longer is still not known though the word is that it will launch in the second half of 2019.
What Device Will I Need to Watch Britbox UK?
Assuming that Britbox UK will be similar to the American and Canadian versions, it should be available for iOS and Android, as well as on Roku, Apple TV, and Chromecast. Currently, there is no word on availability on smart TVs from major manufacturers or on game consoles like the Xbox One or PS4.
How Much Will Britbox Cost?
Like many other details at this point, the exact cost is unknown. However, the service in the U.S. and Canada is currently $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year. Some estimates put pricing somewhere around the £5 mark.
Will Britbox U.K. be Worth the Price?
Given the lack of complete information about the services and the peculiarities of British television, it may be a while before we fully understand the value of Britbox in the U.K. The service has a very different value proposition in the U.S. due to the fact that many of the shows offered are not currently available on other services. However, since much of the content provided by Britbox is already available in the U.K. and some of the original content (like The Barking Murders) is currently airing on U.K. networks, there are some questions about what will make Britbox unique. We may just have to wait and see.