BritBox, the joint venture between the BBC and ITV, is extending its online video catalogue through a deal with All3media International. It will add nearly 300 hours of programming, including 20 seasons of Midsomer Murders, to the online subscription service offering the best of British productions.
The detective series features the events of the picturesque but deadly villages of the fictional county of Midsomer.
It is part of a wider distribution deal that also includes The Village, a period drama series set in Derbyshire, that originally ran on BBC One.
The deal extends what was already promoted as the biggest collection of British programming available online in the United States.
BritBox is also venturing into original productions, commissioning a spinoff of period drama The Bletchley Circle.
Announced in March 2017 and launch in May, the service also includes the latest episodes of popular serials like Coronation Street, Emmerdale and EastEnders.
Overall, the service must present a strange vision of Britain that only really exists on television.
BritBox is available for $6.99 per month in the United States and will also be available in Canada, possibly followed by other territories.
“BritBox not only has the largest number of British programs available to stream, but an unparalleled breadth and depth of shows, so there’s truly something for everyone,” said its president, Soumya Sriraman. “Our deal with All3media International underlines our promise to continue to bring the best of British contemporary and classic series to our audience.”
We have yet to see any customer numbers for BritBox, which is attempting to address an online audience for British programming, without compromising the potential for international sales to other broadcasters.
The BritBox initiative is backed by AMC Networks, which has a joint venture with BBC Worldwide for cable channel BBC America.
Acorn TV, an independent subscription service that has been streaming British programmes since 2011, reported that it had 575,000 paid subscribers at the end of September 2017, up from 375,000 a year previously. Curiously, Acorn TV is also backed by AMC Networks.