BBCS & ITV prep BritBox for 2021 roll-out in South Africa

UK content streamer BritBox is to launch in South Africa later this year, marking the fifth country for the BBC Studios- and ITV-backed SVOD.

BBCS and ITV said BritBox would be rolled out in South Africa in the second half of 2021, following launches in the US & Canada, the UK and Australia.

The move marks the first expansion for BritBox since ITVS and BBCS said they were exploring the possibility of expanding the service globally, with plans to launch in up to 25 new countries.

Programming details have not been revealed but BBCS and ITV said the streamer would offer “great British TV shows and the very best in British box sets, drama premieres and live events, as well as original commissions.”

Channel closures

The launch of BritBox in South Africa follows the recent closure of linear networks ITV Choice and BBC First in the country. It will operate as a 50/50 venture between BBCS and ITV.

Martin Goswami, ITV’s group strategic partnership and distribution director, described the launch as “yet another step in the platform’s trajectory towards international expansion.”

Paul Dempsey, president of global distribution at BBCS, added: “We know that South African audiences have a real connection to British television and we can’t wait to bring them even more great shows, on demand, that we know they will love.”

Last year, BritBox appointed Emily Powers to become EVP & head of BritBox for North America, following the exit of former chief Soumya Sriraman to Amazon. She had been president & CEO at BritBox North America since 2017, helping the service to secure 1.5 million subscribers and ordering originals including The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco and There She Goes.

Powers is also working closely with former Network 10 exec Moira Hogan, who heads up BritBox in Australia and recently saw her budget expanded by A$35m ($25m) over the next three years.


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