BBC Studios is taking full ownership of BritBox International, acquiring ITV’s 50% share for a cash consideration of £255 million.

Launched by BBC Studios and ITV in 2017, British specialist streaming service, BritBox International delivers British scripted content to North America and select markets. The service now has over 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.”

ITV-owned BritBox UK is unaffected by the deal and will still feature BBC content as part of separate long-term agreements.

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 portfolio of digital and direct-to-consumer services that includes, 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 with the outfit since the start and has been CEO for the past three years.

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” and will be announced “imminently.”

BritBox International is available in the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Recent hits include Archie, Death in Paradise, Father Brown, Line of Duty, Sherwood and Shetland.


Jon Creamer

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