BBC Studios Buys ITV Out Of Joint Streamer BritBox International For $321M

BBC Studios has paid £255M ($321M) to acquire ITV‘s shareholding in their joint venture streamer, BritBox International.

In a regulatory note confirming the sale this morning, ITV confirmed it had sold its 50%, with the proceeds set to return to shareholders through a share buyback scheme that will launch after full-year results are posted on March 7.

The deal values BritBox International, which has nearly four million subscribers in eight territories, at over £500M. However, ITV is focusing on growth of its own streamer, ITVX, and will redirect efforts in that direction following the deal.

ITV Studios, the sales and production arm of ITV, will continue to receive an “ongoing revenue stream from BritBox International similar to current levels for the use of ITV content under new extended licensing agreements.”

BritBox UK, which ITV owns most of, is unaffected by the deal. BBC Studios content will remain on that service as part of separate long-term agreements.

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.

“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.”

Tom Fussell, BBC Studios CEO, added: “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.

“I’d like to thank Reemah for her outstanding contribution to BritBox International, which under her stewardship has seen remarkable year-on-year growth.”

BritBox International is currently available in eight countries — the U.S., Canada, Australia, South Africa, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, offering shows such as Archie, Death in Paradise, Father Brown, Line of Duty, Sherwood and Shetland.

BBC Studios and ITV launched the biz in 2017 to tap into demand for British content in North America and other select markets. The service has grown its subscribers number by over 300% in the past four years, and is now nearing 3.8 million.

More follows.


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