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ITV Signs Deal With BBC For BritBox Streaming Service; Stock Up

Shares of ITV Plc (ITV.L) were gaining around 2 percent in the morning trading in London after the company announced Friday an agreement with the BBC to launch BritBox streaming service in the UK in the fourth quarter.

BritBox will be an ITV-controlled venture, but as a founding partner, the BBC will contribute to the development. Initially, ITV holds 90% and the BBC holds 10% of the equity. The BBC has an option to acquire additional shares over time up to 25% in total.

The new service will be co-branded by ITV and the BBC and will showcase the depth and breadth of British creativity, on demand, ad free and all in one place.

BritBox will offer nation's favourite programmes and will have the largest collection of British boxsets. BritBox is also commissioning a broad range of original series made exclusively for BritBox.

The company noted that BritBox will be competitively priced at 5.99 pounds per month in HD and across multiple screens and devices, which is less than other streaming services.

BritBox will be led by Reemah Sakaan, Group Director ITV SVOD. Reemah reports to Kevin Lygo, ITV's Director of Television, who has overall commissioning responsibility for BritBox.

BritBox will pay market rate fees for all content provided by ITV, BBC and other rights owners.

The company said it is already working together on BritBox in the US and Canada and discussions continue with other content and distribution partners. Based on the success of BritBox UK, the company plans to make further announcements in the coming months.

Carolyn McCall, CEO of ITV, said, "Subscription video on demand is increasingly popular with consumers who love being able to watch what they want when they want to watch it. They are also happy to pay for this ease of access to quality content and so BritBox is tapping into this, and a new revenue stream for UK public service broadcasters."

In London, ITV shares were trading at 111.85 pence, up 2.24 percent.

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