BBC Studios, the BBC’s commercial content studio and media & streaming business, has announced it is taking full ownership of BritBox International, acquiring ITV’s 50% share for a cash consideration of £255 million.

“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.”
— Tom Fussell, CEO, BBC Studios

As the world’s biggest distributor of British programmes, the UK’s most awarded production house and the home of the widest-read English language news website, BBC.com, BBC Studios has a proven track record of creating and taking the best British content to audiences around the world. This historic deal brings greater scale and opportunity for both BBC Studios and BritBox International.

Launched by BBC Studios and ITV in 2017, BritBox International is the leading British specialist streaming service, delivering high quality 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.

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.”

BritBox International will become part of BBC Studios’ Global Media and Streaming division, complementing its expanding portfolio of digital and direct-to-consumer services that includes BBC.com, BBC Select, the BBC’s premium ad-free documentary streaming service in North America and BBC Podcast Premium, an audio service available in more than 160 countries.

Rebecca Glashow, BBC Studios Global Media & Streaming CEO said: “I am thrilled to further our involvement in BritBox International – it’s a profitable business and a winning proposition. We see tremendous opportunity to grow this unique service and take it to even greater heights for its subscribers, with the full power of the BBC behind it.”

Following BritBox International’s move into BBC Studios’ Global Media & Streaming division, its global CEO Reemah Sakaan is stepping down. Sakaan has been an important part of the company since the start, and for the past three years in the role of CEO she has overseen the venture’s accelerated growth and creative success.

Tom Fussell BBC Studios CEO said: “I’d like to thank Reemah for her outstanding contribution to BritBox International, which under her stewardship has seen remarkable year-on-year growth. Her passion and dedication has helped create a great culture and build a business that is loved by audiences and that has real momentum.”

Carolyn McCall, ITV CEO said: “I would like to thank the BritBox International team for making the company such a success and particularly CEO Reemah Sakaan for her leadership, drive and vision.”

New leadership plans are in place to ensure a smooth transition and will be announced imminently.

BritBox International brings the best of British entertainment to international audiences, all in one place. Available in eight countries – the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, it offers a world class collection of originals, co-productions, and other popular scripted and live programming. Recent hits include Archie, Death in Paradise, Father Brown, Line of Duty, Sherwood and Shetland.

Source: The BBC

Share Button

By Expat