Market Overview

BBC Partners With ITV To Stream To American Audiences

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Americans lamenting the lag between British television air-dates and access in the U.S. are given extra reason for joy this Christmas.

The BBC — known for “Doctor Who” and “Sherlock” — recently announced a partnership with ITV — its competitor offering “Downton Abbey and “Britain’s Got Talent” — to stream a limited collection to U.S. audiences through a subscription on-demand service called BritBox. In March, users will be able to watch new and recent British shows ad-free via television and mobile devices.

Impact On Netflix, Online Streaming Services

The new service will premiere shows never previously accessible in the U.S., such as “New Blood” and “In The Dark.” It will also feature classics including “Pride and Prejudice” and “Brideshead Revisited.”

However, the New York Times reported that some of the most popular hits — such as BBC’s “Doctor Who” — will not be immediately available for streaming.

While the new service may expand access to British television, it might also signal the end of streaming capacity through present network partners. In the spring, BBC’s exclusive deal with Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) to stream “Doctor Who” heralded the show’s pull from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Hulu.

It's unclear how BritBox will affect present offerings on popular streaming services.

Impact On Related Corporations

Currently, AMC Networks Inc (NASDAQ: AMCX) runs BBC America through a joint venture, and it will hold a minority stake in the fresh service without voting rights. A joint announcement by the BritBox partners revealed equal majority stakes by BBC and ITV.

Between 2013 and 2014, British television exports increased 10 percent to about $800 million according to CNN, and BBC expects the ITV partnership’s capacity to grow international pay and distribution services to $8 billion in the U.S. market alone.

BBC has not yet released pricing for the streaming services, although it may be comparable with competitors. Netflix charges about $10 monthly, Hulu charges $7.99, and Amazon Prime offers services at about $8.25.

This September, the BBC tightened its in-country accessibility by requiring a TV license to view its live programming and recorded collection on BBC iPlayer, the company’s streaming system only available in the U.K. The license costs British viewers about $180 per year.

Posted-In: BBC BritBox Doctor Who Hulu iTV SherlockEmerging Markets Tech

 

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