Feb 27, 2019

ITV and BBC to launch joint UK streaming service

ITV and the BBC will launch BritBox, a jointly owned subscription streaming service, in the second half of 2019 as the broadcasters grapple with a viewing environment upended by the digital era. Shares in ITV fell 3 per cent on Wednesday morning to 127p. ITV plans to make a net investment of £25m in BritBox this year with an anticipated investment of £40m next year. The new BritBox project has been driven by Dame Carolyn and Lord Hall, with their good personal relationship and shared vision for the streaming service overcoming decades of rivalry between the two UK broadcasters. ITV, declined to provide subscriber targets or a cost for the new service, has made a concerted push to diversify its revenues, building a large production business, and an ad-free catch-up service - ITV Hub Plus - which has 265,000 subscribers. ITV's revenues for the full year rose 3 per cent to £3.21bn while non-advertising revenues were up 5 per cent to £1.97bn. Revenues at ITV Studios, the company's production arm, increased 6 per cent to £1.67bn. Pre-tax profits rose from £500m to £567m..

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