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BritBox heads to Australia

BBC director general Tony Hall and ITV CEO Carolyn McCall

BritBox, the streaming joint venture from broadcasters ITV and the BBC, will launch in Australia later this year, its fourth market following the US, Canada and the UK.

The platform will offer a mix of exclusive and non-exclusive British content, including classic and contemporary box sets. The plan is to recruit a local team including a country manager to lead the operations in Oz.

The fee has not been disclosed but in the UK the service, which airs such shows as Broadchurch, Call the Midwife, Poldark, The Office, Death in Paradise, Doctor Who, Downton Abbey and Wolf Hall, costs subscribers £5.99 (A$11.65) per month.

The launch date and distribution arrangements are yet to be revealed but the content will be curated especially for this market, according to BBC Studios.

In the crowded SVoD market down under BritBox will compete with market leader Netflix, Oz streamer Stan, Apple TV+, Disney+, Amazon Prime and others.

BritBox North America launched in March 2017 and has signed up more than one million subscribers, doubling the take-up since January 2019.

The platform bowed in the UK last November and has just announced its first original commission – the puppet-comedy reboot Spitting Image from Avalon Television.

Fiona Lang, BBC Studios general manager for Australia/NZ, said: “There‘s a real opportunity to build on the momentum and brand that has been established in North America and to make BritBox part of BBC Studios’ future strategy in Australia.

“Complementing our existing partnerships in the region, BritBox will draw on our vast combined catalogue of acclaimed British content and will deliver it directly to Australian audiences via a proven and seamless streaming service.”

Augustus Dulgaro, ITV Studios’ executive VP, Asia Pacific sales and distribution, added: “It’s great to have a new route to market in Australia for ITV’s best-loved British content. We know the powerful combination of UK producers and distributors that the BritBox brand represents has been a consumer hit elsewhere.”

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