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BBC and ITV Will Launch Their US Streaming Service BritBox in Actual Britain

By Holly Brockwell on at

Americans love anything with a British flavour, so it's not surprising that the BBC and ITV joined forces to start a Brit-themed streaming service across the pond.

What did raise our eyebrows, however, is the news that two years on, they've decided to bring BritBox to these shores. Where we already have British TV, because it's Britain.

The service runs across the US and Canada, showing programmes like Coronation Street, Emmerdale, EastEnders and Casualty. Those shows aren't exactly hard to find in the UK, so we're expecting a somewhat different content mix when the service launches here later this year.

According to the Guardian, "BritBox will mainly feature archive BBC and ITV shows, alongside new British commissions made especially for the service." That's interesting – it sounds like they've got something akin to Netflix Originals up their sleeve. If it results in more content like Fleabag, we'll pay whatever they're asking.

The new service won't replace ITV Hub or iPlayer – those will still show the latest episodes of whatever's been on the actual broadcast channels that no one watches anymore. It does probably mean that any ITV and BBC content that's currently available on streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime will be pulled, though.

One big hole in the service is Channel 4's content, including some of the best British shows – The Inbetweeners, Peep Show, Father Ted, The IT Crowd, Derry Girls, Friday Night Dinner, Catastrophe, we could go on – but apparently the channel has had talks with the other two about getting on board.

We'd quite happily swap out ITV if that helps – All4 is the absolute worst and badly needs replacing with something that a) actually works and b) doesn't show you the same two adverts every 30 seconds.

ITV Chief Exec Carolyn McCall says BritBox will not be a rival to Netflix (no duh) but will instead run alongside it, for households with lots of time and money on their hands.

BritBox apparently has half a million customers in the US, who we reckon just use it to try and sound clever. The new service will only be available to actual Brits, though apparently you'll still be able to watch it on holiday in the EU – but only if May manages to get a deal through.

So basically no, you won't be able to watch it on holiday.