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BBC buys out ITV stake in Britbox joint venture for £255m

ITV has agreed to sell its 50% stake in Britbox International to BBC Studios for £255 million, giving the latter full ownership of the digital subscription streaming service.

Britbox International was launched by the BBC and ITV in 2017 to provide a streaming service dedicated to British scripted content to fans in North America and select markets. It’s important to note that, despite the deal, ITV will continue to wholly own Britbox International UK.

“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 [by the end of the 2027/2028 financial year],” said Tom Fussell, BBC Studios CEO. “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.”

Carolyn McCall, ITV CEO, added: “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.”

As part of the agreement, the BBC has extended its licensing agreements with ITV, so content from the broadcaster will continue to appear on the Britbox platform.

Britbox International will become part of BBC Studios’ Global Media & Streaming division, adding to services such as BBC.com, BBC Select, and BBC Podcast Premium.

“I am thrilled to further our involvement in BritBox International – it’s a profitable business and a winning proposition. We see tremendous opportunity to grow this unique service and take it to even greater heights for its subscribers, with the full power of the BBC behind it,” said Rebecca Glashow, BBC Studios Global Media & Streaming CEO.

The deal also sees Britbox International’s Global CEO, Reemah Sakaan, stepping down from the role she has held for the past three years. In this time, Sakaan has overseen the service’s growth to over 3.75 million subscribers, and toward an enterprise value of around £500 million.

The BBC says that new leadership plans will be “announced imminently.”

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