BBC Worldwide and ITV are set to launch their Britbox SVOD in Canada in early 2018.
The joint venture, which first launched in the U.S. in March, combines programming from BBC and ITV, including new and classic series.
It will be home to new-to-Canada series such as Five by Five, produced by and starring Idris Elba, mystery series The Moorside and Jimmy McGovern’s political drama Reg. Season premieres of Cold Feet and the longest running procedural drama Silent Witness will also air on the SVOD. Britbox also features a “Now” section with British soaps, such as Casualty and Holby City, as well as current affairs series like The Papers that are made available 24 hours after their U.K. broadcast.
Britbox will be available on web, mobile (iOS and Android), Roku, AppleTV and Chromecast. Details on when the ad-free service will roll out in Canada, and the subscription cost will be available at a later date.
“Soon Canadians will have the opportunity to access the largest streaming collection of British television available. With select shows offered as soon as 24 hours after their U.K. broadcast, Canadian subscribers will be among the first outside the U.K. to have access to these programs,” said Soumya Sriraman, president of BritBox, in a release.
Britbox is the latest SVOD to enter the Canadian market. In August, it was announced that CBS All Access will be made available in Canada in the first half of 2018. Earlier this year, Sundance NOW and indie film-focused Filmatique were added to the growing list of new streaming services on offer to Canadians, including Amazon Prime Video and AMC Networks-backed horror streamer Shudder. With Facebook Watch and Disney’s plans to launch two new streaming services, there are sure to be other entrants to the Canadian market in the not-too-distant future.
Canadian broadcasters are facing significant pressure from established SVOD services. In its recent submission to the CRTC on future programming distribution models, Corus Entertainment reported that Netflix is now the most-watched “station” in Canada in primetime viewing, handily beating all national conventional networks.
“For the 18 to 34 and 2 to 11 demographics, the viewing data is startling in that Netflix’s share is two and half times higher than licensed broadcasters. This viewing data is particularly important as it demonstrates the level of fragmentation in the system and how quickly this has impacted the traditional linear market,” the submission states.
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