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(Pocket-lint) - BritBox, the new paid streaming service from the BBC and ITV, has launched in the UK.

It features a wide collection of box sets and original series from both broadcasters, plus Channel 4 and Channel 5, and is designed to combat the rise in popularity of the US services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+.


BritBox costs £5.99 per month for HD and multi-screen viewing, with a 30-day free trial period available for new subscribers.

It is different to the BritBox service that is currently available in the States, as it will only host shows that are no longer available on individual, free catch-up services from the four leading UK broadcasters: BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and My5.

Shows available at launch include the entire runs of Downton Abbey, Love Island, Broadchurch and Gavin & Stacey.

Some of them also feature on other streaming services, including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, and those will remain. But BritBox will have the widest selection of British made programming by far.

That will also include all the episodes of Doctor Who made from 1963 to 1989 (apart from those famously missing from the Beeb's archives). It is said that these will be added from Boxing Day, 26 December.

In addition, new series will be commissioned for BritBox exclusively. The first of those is Lambs of God, starring Ann Dowd (The Handmaid's Tale) and Jessica Barden (The End of the F****** World).

Of course, BritBox is far from the only streaming service to have launched recently. And, with Disney+ also on the horizon (expected to reach the UK in "early 2020") there is a lot of competition out there for our monthly cash.

It will be interesting to see just how many Brits are willing to pay for British content.

Writing by Rik Henderson.