BritBox International is now wholly owned by BBC Studios

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BBC Studios takes full ownership of BritBox International in a £255 million deal

Reported by both sides from different angles (BBC takes full ownership vs ITV sells its 50% share), it’s clear the deal has been some time coming. Since ITV launched ITVX, its focus has been there, with Britbox coverage increasingly limited. Now BritBox can fly or fall under the direction of one organisation.

What does the deal entail?

The commercial terms include BBC Studios paying £255 million for ITV’s 50% share, valuing the whole at just over half a billion pounds. As the BBC says:

Launched by BBC Studios and ITV in 2017, BritBox International is the leading British specialist streaming service, delivering British scripted content, including mystery drama, to passionate fans in North America and select markets. The service has grown subscribers by over 300% in the past four years, surpassing 3.75 million subscribers and has an enterprise value of around £500 million.

As part of the transaction, BBC Studios has extended its licensing agreements with ITV ensuring that programming for BritBox International will continue to represent a wide range of British content. No idea where (if) Channels 4 or 5 might fit into that.

The CEO quotes confirm both parties see this as the right deal. Tom Fussell, BBC Studios CEO said:

“This is an important acquisition for us. We are taking full ownership of a successful, growing service we know well and that fits with our stated ambition to double the size of our business. Britbox International has British content at its heart and it generates and satisfies demand for British shows outside the UK. We will continue to make significant investments in the future to deliver long term value to the BBC.”

Carolyn McCall, ITV CEO said:

“The sale of 50% of BritBox International means ITV is focused on its core strategic goals of continuing to build on ITVX’s success and growing ITV Studios.”

ITV logo 2024
ITV logo 2024

Speaking of ITV’s core strategy, you might have noticed its recent brand refresh (yes, a recoloured logo!). Short term we’d like to see the BritBox press release page refocused (and presumably move from their current ITV home to BBC Studios). Next, we’d really like to understand how BritBox will evolve medium-term. We’ll keep you posted as ever.