Following a few weeks of “Beta Testing”, BritBox launches officially in the UK today, amidst reports of a new content deal with Channel 4, and distribution deals with EE and BT. And more good news for British TV fans – Doctor Who is coming to BritBox, with 600+ episodes that will be available on the service by Christmas.
BritBox is a new streaming subscription service created by the BBC and ITV, which brings a variety of past British TV programmes, as well as classic British films. The service costs £5.99/month, and you can get a 30-days free trial.
More BritBox Coverage:
- Our Full BritBox UK Review
- BritBox Will Be Available On FreeviewPlay
- Ofcom: BritBox Streaming Service Poses No Threat To Competition
At launch, BritBox already includes content from ITV, the BBC and Channel 5. In 2020, however, BritBox will add 1000+ hours of content from Channel 4, as The Guardian reports.
It should be noted that the upcoming Channel 4 programmes will also remain available on Channel 4’s own streaming service, All4 – but with adverts. Interestingly, Channel 4 is also planning to launch its own All4+ service, which will let you stream Channel 4’s programmes without adverts, for £3.99/month.
While it’s hard to compare BritBox to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, as it caters to a more niche audience, ITV says BritBox has “The biggest collection of British boxsets in once place, compared to any other SVOD service” (163 on Netflix, 233 on NOW TV, 181 on Prime Video and 283 on BritBox, according to them).
The addition of content from Channel 4, makes BritBox the single one-stop-shop that includes content from all four major British broadcasters.
In addition to the new content deal with Channel 4, The Guardian also reports that BritBox has signed a distribution deal with EE and its parent company, BT.
EE Mobile will therefore be the exclusive mobile home of BritBox. (You can download and use the official BritBox app on any iOS and Android device, regardless of your mobile carrier – but I’m assuming BritBox will be available for free for EE subscribers. Details are still scarce though).
In addition, BritBox will be available to the millions of BT pay-tv subscribers – this is a unique deal for what is first and foremost a streaming service, as it’s a backdoor to “traditional” pay-tv subscribers as well. (In a similar fashion, Sky TV has a Netflix Package).
BritBox Is Now Official – And It’s Still Hard To Watch On TV
Despite the official BritBox launch, it’s still very hard to actually watch on a TV. Other than watching on your smartphone or desktop computer, the only ways to stream it on your telly, for now, are either via an Apple TV, or select Samsung TV models.
(There are also workarounds, such as connecting a laptop to your TV via cable, or using your streaming device’s internet browser – but these are not very common or user-friendly).
There’s no word yet on when a Roku or an Amazon Fire TV BritBox UK app will be available, or when other Smart TV models will support BritBox. Even Chromecast isn’t supported yet.
At some point, BritBox is also set to become available as an app on FreeviewPlay devices – but there’s still no official date for that as well.
Therefore, BritBox is a streaming TV service – which most people still can’t actually get on a TV.
Doctor Who Is Coming To BritBox
In my full BritBox review, I complained about the fact that one of the most iconic British shows – Doctor Who – isn’t available on BritBox (while it is available on the US version of BritBox).
Well, good news – Doctor Who is indeed coming to BritBox, and 627 classic Doctor Who episodes, dating from 1963 to 1989, will be added to the service – but only after Christmas.
There’s no word on the newer Doctor Who episodes yet, though it’s possible these will not be available on BritBox anytime soon, since the BBC still makes a lot of money from selling the popular series to other TV providers (such as Netflix).
If you want to check BritBox out for yourself – you can do so here.