British TV streaming service BritBox launches in US

"BBC and ITV are known for a vast array of diverse and award-winning programming that fans in the US love and want to watch", BritBox president Soumya Sriraman said in a statement.

Other shows that will be available include Miss Marple, Inspector Morse, Sherlock Holmes, Poirot: The Early Cases, Prime Suspect, Are You Being Served?

BritBox will be available for $6.99 a month, and can be accessed on responsive web, AppleTV, and Android phones and tablets, with Roku, Chromecast, iPhone and iPad apps soon to follow.

The two companies have, however, promised to release episodes of new and ongoing shows 24 hours after their British broadcast.

Popular period dramas such as Brideshead Revisited, Pride and Prejudice, and Upstairs Downstairs also feature on the new service, while soap fans can keep up with their favorite characters' shenanigans in London-based EastEnders, or, if you fancy a trip up north, Yorkshire-based Emmerdale. In the drama category, Britbox has focused on titles that have not yet been distributed in the US and that you might not have heard of, including: New Blood, Tutankhamun, The Moonstone, In The Dark, Cold Feet, and Silent Witness.

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BritBox boasts thousands of hours of programming at launch with new shows added weekly.

For U.S. users, the service may be a hard sell. The service now costs $6.99 per month following a free introductory period. Other playlists include "Best of British Comedy", "Iconic Detectives", and "Literary Adaptations".

Though Britbox is among the first SVOD services to offer British content in the U.S., one of their main competitors will be Acorn TV, a streaming service, which, according to a Brightcove case study, experienced 400% subscriber growth in the past two years.

AMC Networks Inc, which has a joint venture with BBC Worldwide for the cable channel BBC America, had invested in BritBox with a non-voting minority interest. The service offers a large catalog of British television series to U.S. users, many for the first time, at a cost of $6.99 per month.

  • Stacy Houston