Euromedia February March - Page 13

BBC , ITV partner for US SVoD service BritBox

BBC Worldwide and ITV , the UK ’ s biggest commercial broadcaster , have formed a new joint venture that sees the two broadcasters combine forces to launch BritBox , an ad-free SVoD service , which went live March 7 th 2017 . AMC Networks , which has a joint venture with BBC Worldwide for cable channel BBC America , is investing in BritBox with a non-voting minority interest . BBC Worldwide and ITV share an equal stake in the joint venture .

The streaming service celebrates the very best of British TV , and offers the most comprehensive SVoD collection of British content in the market today . The BritBox proposition features :
• An array of drama premieres never-beforeseen in the US , including New Blood , from acclaimed novelist Anthony Horowitz , Tutankhamun , The Moonstone , and In The Dark , from BAFTA award-winning writer Danny Brocklehurst ( Ordinary Lies ). Also , season premieres of drama favourites Cold Feet and Silent Witness .
• The ‘ Now ’ category will feature a selection of soaps and series that will be available as soon as 24 hours after their UK broadcast , including much-loved titles EastEnders , Emmerdale and Holby City .
• A British classics collection from ITV and the BBC , featuring iconic period dramas Brideshead Revisited , Pride and Prejudice , and Upstairs Downstairs ; political thriller State of Play ; murder
“ Britain produces some of the best television in the world and we ’ re delighted to be bringing the creative might of the BBC and ITV together ” mystery series Inspector Morse and Rosemary and Thyme ; favourite sitcoms Keeping Up Appearances and Fawlty Towers ; and much more . BritBox is now available for $ 6.99 (€ 6.62 ) per month – after an introductory free trial period – on responsive web , AppleTV , iPhone , iPad , and Android mobile phones and tablets – with Roku and Chromecast shortly after
launch . There is also ambition to roll out the service in other international markets .
“ The BBC and ITV are the two most prolific content producers and broadcasters in British television – both known for their unrivalled , ground-breaking shows ,” said Ann Sarnoff , president , BBC Worldwide North America . “ BritBox will offer a streaming experience like no other , with thousands of hours of programmes across a wide variety of genres – some of which will be available right after their UK broadcast . This will be a must-have service for lovers of British television .”
Simon Pitts , ITV managing director of online , pay-tv and interactive said , “ Britain produces some of the best television in the
world and we ’ re delighted to be bringing the creative might of the BBC and ITV together for the first time in this exciting new streaming service for US fans . BritBox will be the best and most comprehensive British streaming service in the US ; a rich catalogue of classic , new , and exclusive shows easily accessible to US viewers all in one place . ITV is now a global production and distribution business and this marks the first step in our international ambitions for BritBox .”
Josh Sapan , AMC Networks president and CEO , said “ The BBC and ITV each have a long history of creating spectacular premium content and some of the most iconic shows on television . We are delighted to expand our current partnership with BBC Worldwide and view this investment as a strategic opportunity for AMC Networks to participate in a digital platform dedicated to offering shows of the highest quality . We think this service will be irresistible to people who value creative content and great television .”
“ 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 ,” said Soumya Sriraman , president , BritBox . “ Those fans now have a one-of-a-kind SVoD service option that offers a single point of access to an extensive collection of outstanding British programming to discover and enjoy .”
The US market for SVoD services is estimated to reach the $ 8 billion mark by end of 2016 , according to research firm SNL Kagan , with some 110m subscriptions . The BBC Worldwide / ITV partnership is consistent with both companies ’ stated aims of growing their international pay and distribution businesses , and will also allow British producers and talent to reach a wider audience in the world ’ s largest media market .
RTL Group new CEO
RTL Group has confirmed that co-CEO Anke Scheferkordt ( right ), will leave her current role at her own request in April . Bert Habets , currently CEO of RTL Nederland , will then become the new co- CEO alongside Guillaume de Posch .
Schaferkordt will continue to be the CEO of the company ’ s largest business
unit , Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland , which she has led since September 2005 . She will also continue to serve as a member of
the executive board of Bertelsmann , RTL Group ’ s majority shareholder . The company said it expects to announce a new CEO of RTL Nederland before the end of 2017 .
RTL Group chairman Thomas Rabe commented : “ On behalf of the whole board , I would like to thank Anke Schaferkordt for her outstanding entrepreneurial performance at the head
of RTL Group . Together with her colleagues on the executive committee , she has succeeded in making RTL Group more digital , more international and faster growing . I ’ m very happy that she will continue to lead and advance our largest business unit – and that she will continue to contribute her unique experience and expertise to the digital transformation of our group .”