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Streaming service BritBox announces August exit from South Africa

Call the Midwife is a global hit on BritBox

BritBox, the streaming service known for its extensive library of British television content, has announced its decision to withdraw from the South African market.

This move from the BBC Studios-backed streamer will take effect in August 2024, marking the end of a three-year tenure in the country.

The decision to exit South Africa is part of BritBox’s strategic shift towards focusing on more established global markets. The service, featuring content from the BBC, ITV and other UK channels, has seen significant success in other regions such as the Nordics and the US, and now aims to consolidate its efforts where it has a stronger foothold.

Signs of the move became apparent when BritBox informed its South African subscribers of the discontinuation of the annual subscription option. An email sent to subscribers on May 2, 2024, stated that existing annual subscribers would be switched to monthly billing at a rate of US$5.49 per month upon their next renewal.

BritBox first launched in South Africa on August 6, 2021, providing subscribers with access to a wide array of British series and films. The platform featured content from the UK’s four main public service broadcasters — BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5. At launch, notable titles included Blackadder, Fawlty Towers, Inspector Morse, Mr Bean, Call the Midwife and The Office.

Despite the decision, BritBox had previously reported positive growth and engagement in South Africa. In May 2022, company executives highlighted that South Africa contributed significantly to the global subscriber count of 2.5 million. BritBox’s global CEO Reemah Sakaan once praised the South African market as the most enthusiastic and engaged.

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