back to article BBC hooks up with ITV, launches long awaited US subscription VoD

In the end, after a year waiting for the service, BritFlix has become BritBox, an OTT service which the BBC promised a while back, as a follow-on to its failed global iPlayer initiative. This will have been stimulated by the relatively new relationship between AMC Networks and BBC Worldwide – effectively AMC said (to OTT): "Come …

  1. Neil 8

    Hang on, so you can have BBC/ITV content for £70/y if you're outside the UK or £145/y inside?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      No – you get a small selection on the TV content and you can only access it via the internet, basically what you can already get on BBC America.

      The licence fee covers all the local (radio and tv) content including all the boring stuff that only interests a few people and the a large part of the free-to-air infrastructure. The main argument, Lord Reith's famous edict to "inform, educate and entertain", behind public service broadcasting is that it is one of the best ways to avoid the echo chamber of people only hearing more of what they think they know.

    3. Tracer Hand

      I believe the US service will only have a fraction of what's available domestically.

      1. Chris Evans

        But it reportedly has somethings we don't have!

        Many BBC programs are only available on iplayer for a few weeks after broadcast. e.g. iPlayer says about Blackadder: 'This programme is not currently available on BBC iPlayer' and last week I wanted to watch the first program in the 'Inside no. 9' series only to find it wasn't available despite being broadcast less than three weeks before.

        1. Danny 14

          Re: But it reportedly has somethings we don't have!

          Unless you record everything that is on then dont rely on iplayer. Nearly all the stuff i want isnt on iplayer. Either it wasnt put on in the first place or 14 days elapse and it goes. Pretty useless most of the time.

      2. Captain DaFt

        "I believe the US service will only have a fraction of what's available domestically."

        Well, the US already has all the American programming, so adding that to the service would be a bit redundant, eh?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A very small subset actually

      I signed up and poked around and I can assure you that BritBox has only a very small subset of what is available on BBC and ITV in the UK. I would happily pay $200 a year to get the _full_ content of the BBC and ITV.

      For one despite the implication from the header pic in the article, there is no Dr. Who, at which point my kids lost interest.

      No Horizon, no Bang Goes The Theory, no Stargazing, no Dara Ó Briain, no Brian Cox. No bloody science shows at all in fact, which is something that the BBC does rather well in compared the USA.

      It has about the first half of Sean Bean's Sharpe series, the rest is missing.

      It has two seasons of A Bit of Fry and Laurie but no Jeeves and Wooster.

      What it does have are loads of vacuously stupid soaps. I'm not paying for that crap.

  2. John Robson Silver badge


    Let the use iPlayer tech, not ITV.

    How do ITV get away with calling ITV hub anything other than a complete technical failure.

    It's sufficiently low quality (they claim SD, but I doubt it qualifies as that) that aside from just dropping out on Saturday I couldn't actually tell which big square smudge on the screen was the rugby ball...

    iPlayer manages pretty much flawless HD from the same fixtures - it's entirely achievable...

    1. Andy 97

      Re: Please....

      You may also wish to register a complaint with ITV directly about this.

      Unless you're on a terrible access network, somewhere rural or on a saturated ADSL, there's no real reason you shouldn't be able to watch live linear content in pseudo HD.

      1. JetSetJim

        Re: Please....

        > You may also wish to register a complaint with ITV directly about this.

        yeah, cos they're obviously investing heavily in their streaming platform.

        It's a steaming pile from end to end.

      2. Stuart Castle Silver badge

        Re: Please....

        "You may also wish to register a complaint with ITV directly about this."

        A few years ago, ITV Player on the iOS devices supported Apple's Airplay. It wasn't great, but worked 9 times out of ten. Then, when they renamed the player "ITV Hub", Airplay stopped working (it's not specifically disabled in the program, it just doesn't work). A few people complained. ITV's reposonse? To put an FAQ on their support page that cautions that Airplay may not work.

        Now, it's true that the ITV hub doesn't offer Airplay as an option. It's accessible as "Airplay Mirroring" on the Control Centre in iOS. However, if they cannot support it, then the App should check if it's on, and display an error rather than just refusing to play anything. For instance, the old 4od app would stream a rather nice looking screen saying that the licences they had with the various makers didn't allow streaming over Airplay.

      3. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Please....

        "You may also wish to register a complaint with ITV directly about this.

        Unless you're on a terrible access network, somewhere rural or on a saturated ADSL, there's no real reason you shouldn't be able to watch live linear content in pseudo HD."

        I did..

        There is no reason at all... except that they don't support streaming in more than SD (their words when I complained).

        My connection is pretty good (~76Mb/s by 17Mb/s), and I virtually never have an issue with iPlayer (certainly not one I've noticed during the rugby - the kids occasionally have to wait a second or two for an on demand show to start).

        I'm pretty confident the issue isn't at my end - it's their abysmal streaming platform.

  3. Insane Reindeer

    Umm, what about the rest of us?!

    By that I mean those of us who have chosen to leave the UK and have not ended up in the United States of Trumpledon.

    Anyone any idea when we will get access to this in the EU and Japan?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Umm, what about the rest of us?!

      "We're sorry, BritBox is not available in your country."

      Yeah, cheers.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Umm, what about the rest of us?!

      TPB; Kodi; NZBs are thataway ->

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Umm, what about the rest of us?!

      ITV already has something for the EU: "ITV Essentials". But basically, what do you think VPNs were invented for?

    4. Mark York 3 Silver badge

      Re: Umm, what about the rest of us?!

      United States of Trumpton - FTFY.

      1. Danny 14

        Re: Umm, what about the rest of us?!

        Hey, lay off trumpton. Pugh, Pugh,Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grub have nothing to do with this.

  4. Michael B.

    From a quick peak at the site via Remote Desktop to one of our US servers I can see a mixture of the latest Soaps ( no Corrie) and a selection of back catalogue material. In the comedy section the most up to date seems to be Gavin and Stacey ( probably to cash in on the success of Cordon) but the majority seems to be 80s and early 90s. (Boon, Keeping up Appearances, Fawlty Towers, Are you being served, Ab Fab etc..)

    Basically just a grab bag of back catalogue material but nothing particularly up to date.

    1. HmmmYes

      Thats pretty much the current schedule.

    2. dbaldock9

      Sounds like the package of BritComs that they already license to the US Public Broadcasting Service, and that we've seen repeated for years and years.

      I wonder how this new service will affect, which _had_ some exclusive British programing (not available on Amazon, Hulu, or NetFlix).

  5. Paul D Smyth

    Proof read your articles

    If you're going to get on your high horse, proof read your article. It's noteworthy not note- worthy and what the hell is ad- vice? I suggest before you write "scathing" reports you first learn spelling and grammar. This reads like an essay an 11 year old wrote; Badly.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Proof read your articles

      Yes, but I'll take the named author from Faultline typo's over the usual stream-of-consciousness buzzword bullshit they normally churn out.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Proof read your articles

      This is syndicated content. I'm guessing the original contained hyphenation to fit in a column, which has transferred here; but granted it seems a bit sloppy.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Proof read your articles

        " seems a bit sloppy."

        As was the ability to convert $ to £ for an article specifically about BBC :-)

        The only relevant $ amount is the US subscription rate. All the other values ought to be in £

    3. David Nash Silver badge

      Re: Proof read your articles

      Also what is OTT in this context?

      SVoD I guess is Streaming Video On Demand but that should have been defined too.

  6. Anonymous Coward


    If they are already dragging in that type of cash from the commercial side with a half-hearted attempt already, it be interesting to see how much this VoD model will bring in, I'm suspecting it will do quite well, in which case they may want to reconsider the tax and go full-arse into commercial. I've always thought that the BBC would do very well if it wasnt run by socialists obsessed on sucking the people dry.

    1. frank ly

      Re: Well..

      "... socialists obsessed on sucking the people dry."

      Wasn't that a line from an old 'Up Pompeii!' show or a Carry On film? Nostalgia for Frankie Howerd and Kenneth Williams is all very well but try to be original.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well..

        I wouldnt know, I'm not that old.. That was just a statement on general observations..

        But I guess nothing is new under the sun..

  7. hi_robb

    Oh dear!

    American's getting ITV, aren't the poor bastards suffering enough with Trump without that shit on top to!

  8. MikeGH

    Unified Player

    And in the UK we're stuck with loads of different players in the interest of "competition"

  9. Richard Lloyd

    I'd like the entire BBC archive myself...

    BBC employees have access to everything that the BBC has digitised/archived - now *that* would be a service I'd be willing to pay a monthly fee for, rather than this half-arsed amalgam that Britbox provides.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'd like the entire BBC archive myself...

      Yah. Why not? I've been paying the licence fee for 20 odd years now. Why shouldn't I have access to the whole BBC archive if I want to?

  10. Daedalus


    This is where the US finds out that all the stuff they haven't already seen on PBS or BBC America is total bollocks.

    1. IsJustabloke

      Re: Revelations

      I think that works both ways... we frequently hear that we see the best of US TV and that the stuff we don't see is total bollocks... with added gloss.

      I'd have to agree based upon some of the recent additions to Netflix

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll just ...

    ... carry on downloading via torrents. So what if I have to wait for a day or so for it to be available. Not paying the BBC or anyone else for access to their shows whilst I'm overseas.

    1. DiViDeD

      Re: I'll just ...

      "So what if I have to wait for a day or so for it to be available." OK, miserable old curmudgeon time. In the Good Old Days (tm), when the Box and Radioarchive were still with us, some of the more dedicated uploaders (MadMartha springs to mind) could have a programme encoded and uploaded to the torrent server within an hour of it finishing.

      Kids today, etc.

  12. Gene Cash Silver badge


    I assume since it's probably part of BBC America, that it will have commercials.

    BBC America cut entire segments out of Top Gear to make room for commercials, until people threw an absolute shit fit, then it "aired uncut" but was 1hr 20min, so they put in 20 minutes of commercials.

    F*ck that for a lark.

    Edit: so yes I'm STILL not paying for commercials, and I'll continue downloading. WHEN will these people LEARN?

    1. ~chrisw

      Re: Ads?

      Separate company (LLC). Joint venture between ITV, BBC and AMC (et al). More info on their site if you're interested in the small print pages.

      All programmes are apparently ad free. The biggest issue they have is acquiring rebroadcast / on-demand rights for catalogue -- it's a massive, massive, MASSIVE headache because I imagine they'll have to renegotiate entire swathes of content again for this new service. Rights negotiations is an absolute minefield.

      The whole point of britbox, from what I've read on their site, is that they offer stuff not already available through BBC America rebroadcast / AMC (etc) syndication. It's a complementary service and it also offers ITV programming, so I imagine as we go on it'll offer Channel 4 shows too. Agreeing the rights and licensing periods will be what holds up new content appearing on the platform faster than it is.

      1. gwangy

        If they're lucky

        then Channel5 will join the fray .. altho as most of their content is yank cop shows its only the "benefit shows" that will glean some fascinated viewers....

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Is something wrong with Exodus? :P

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