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Viacom’s Channel 5 and Comedy Central Join BritBox Ahead of Its U.K. Launch

Leo Barraclough

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Viacom-owned Channel 5 and Comedy Central have joined BritBox, the “best-of-British” subscription streaming service created by the BBC and ITV. The platform, already available in North America, is due to launch on home turf in Britain by year’s end.

Under the deal with Viacom, shows from the U.K.’s Channel 5 can appear on BritBox following a 30-day catchup window on the channel’s VOD platform My5. Comedy Central will contribute a selection of its British-produced shows.

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The addition of content from those two sources strengthens BritBox’s content lineup, which already includes shows such as “Victoria,” “Happy Valley,” “Broadchurch,” “Les Miserables,” “Downton Abbey,” “Love Island,” “Famalam,” “Gavin & Stacey,” “The Office” and “Benidorm.” These series will be on the service at launch in the U.K. or become available shortly afterward, when licensing agreements with other SVOD operators end. BritBox will be available for £5.99 ($7.53) per month.

“We are thrilled to announce that another British public service broadcaster is joining BritBox, ensuring that we offer viewers the very best of British creativity across a variety of genres,” said Reemah Sakaan, group launch director for ITV SVOD.

Arran Tindall, senior vice president of commercial and content distribution at Viacom International Media Networks, said: “Under Viacom’s ownership, we have significantly increased Channel 5’s investment in original U.K. content and we’re delighted to bring our popular homegrown content to an even wider audience through BritBox, alongside a selection of Comedy Central’s much-loved U.K. programming.”

ITV said it is in discussions with other potential partners to provide content and to distribute BritBox to viewers.

In North America, BritBox now boasts 500,000 subscribers. Its launch in the U.K. was given the green light by British media regulator Ofcom on Thursday.

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