BritBox UK | The Best of British Content

The UK has long been a primary source of world-class writing and original programming. Countless shows born from British creativity have been translated for worldwide audiences, with many being adapted and re-shot for regional audiences.

The two main British broadcasters, BBC and ITV, have gone toe-to-toe in the quest to create new and innovative shows for decades, with Channel 4 and Channel 5 entering the picture in recent years.

The idea that these pillars of British entertainment would one day collaborate within a streaming service to merge their catalogues into a single hub of countless favourite British programmes would once have been considered a pipe dream.

The dream became a reality with the invention of BritBox.

What’s in this Guide?

What is BritBox UK?

Though it was launched in the United States in its current iteration in 2017, the idea of a joint venture between Britain’s leading public service broadcasters first came about as early as 2009. That project never came to light due to concerns over fair competition.

BritBox UK is the central hub for British television, a Netflix-style TV service that shares many of the same streaming service features. It merges hundreds of hours’ worth of content from the individual broadcaster streaming platforms BBC IPlayer, ITV Hub, and More4 into a single easy-to-access collection.

The venture has proven successful, with ITV CEO Carolyn McCall claiming that BritBox for USA and Canada has “done brilliantly,” with the model “a very robust one.”

In October 2019, BritBox launched in the UK. Today, BritBox is estimated to have close to 4 million subscribers worldwide, with BritBox UK claiming nearly three-quarters of a million.

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What to watch on BritBox UK

BritBox’s library of shows and movies continues to expand with the streaming service producing more originals and many others in the works. Of course, there’s the unrivalled content from major UK networks BBC, ITV Channel 4 and Channel 5. To explore new shows, check out what to watch on Britbox this month.

Legacy and Classic Content

BritBox UK is home to the peak of British content produced by its leading broadcasters that have entertained tens of millions of Brits for decades. Classic BBC shows such as Only Fools and Horses and The Office are readily available to re-watch, as are recent staples from ITV such as Downton Abbey and Broadchurch, which took the world by storm.

Channel 4’s The Inbetweeners and ITV’s Love Island are both available for younger audience members, two shows that have spawned several international versions worldwide.

Original Content

Though it was initially intended as a hub for existing shows, BritBox UK also has new programmes on offer, as well as fresh episodes for older shows. Some BritBox original content includes:

  • Spitting Image – one of the biggest shows of the 1980s, Spitting Image returned to BritBox with a whole host of new public figures to satirise. Famed for its exaggerated caricature puppets, the show continues to pull no punches with contemporary politicians such as Boris Johnson and Donald Trump featuring on its new roster.
  • Crime – following in the footsteps of other highly acclaimed crime and detective series, Crime stars Dougray Scott as a lead detective tasked with solving crimes across Scotland while at the same time battling his own personal demons and addictions.
  • The Beast Must Die – recognised as Britbox UK’s first piece of original programming, the show follows a bereaved mother as she seeks revenge on her son’s alleged killer. It also follows a jaded city detective, played by Jared Harris, as he attempts to adjust to village police work.
  • Magpie Murders – a novel take on the murder mystery formula, Magpie Murders stars Leslie Manville as an editor who receives an unfinished manuscript from one of her authors, who is swiftly murdered not long after. The clues to the murder are thought to be contained within the manuscript.

How much does BritBox UK cost?

A monthly subscription to BritBox UK comes in at £5.99 a month. This is largely in line with the costs of other streaming services such as Amazon Video and is slightly cheaper than Netflix.

There is also the option of an annual BritBox subscription which will set you back £59.99 per year. Both plans come with a free trial of seven days— the subscription kicks in when the free trial ends.

Additional options via the BritBox app can be purchased on multiple streaming devices, including iPhone and Android.

It should be noted that annual subscriptions are not available via Amazon Prime or Apple TV, though you can add BritBox as a channel onto existing packages.

Britbox Plans

  • 7-day free trial
  • Yearly
  • No Lock-in Contract
  • Stream on up to 5 devices
  • Watch hundreds of shows and movies ad-free
  • $59.99/365 days
$59.99/365 days
Min Cost - £59.99 over 1 year (works out as £4.99/mth)

  • 7-day free trial
  • Monthly
  • No Lock-in Contract
  • Stream on up to 5 devices
  • Watch hundreds of shows and movies ad-free
  • $5.99/mth
Min Cost - £5.99 over 1 month

BritBox UK vs. Acorn TV

Prior to BritBox entering the arena, Acorn TV had been the primary source of British content for American audiences from 2013, when it moved from physical media to become a new streaming service.

Both subscription options (monthly and annual) are slightly cheaper with Acorn TV, with a monthly subscription coming in at £4.99 per month and an annual fee of £49.99.

However, BritBox UK has already collated a much more extensive collection of classic content and a solid set of BritBox originals, meaning far more choice for the consumer with BritBox UK.

Both are available to access across several different streaming devices and smart TV options, including Apple TV and Roku streaming. Both are available for both iPhone and Android software.

However, Acorn TV does not currently support downloads onto your favourite devices, whereas BritBox UK viewers can do this via the BritBox app.

How can I watch BritBox UK?

BritBox UK is available on several streaming devices, including smart TVs, streaming services, media players, and web browsers. There is also the option to cast your content via Apple Airplay.

You can access your favourite British programmes via the following devices.

Smart TVs

LG, Toshiba, and Samsung smart TVs (newer than 2016) are compatible with the BritBox app. Apple TV can also support BritBox. There is also a Fire TV edition available via Amazon Fire TV. It can also be added onto the Fire TV stick and stored via the Fire TV Cube.

Mobile Devices

All Android devices are set up to download the BritBox app. This is also true with devices operating iOS software.

Web Browsers

BritBox and the BritBox app can be accessed via all major web browsers, including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari, and Mozilla Firefox.

Streaming Media Players

As well as all Fire TV and Apple TV options, the BritBox app is accessible via Fetch and Telstra TV and Roku streaming devices, including Roku Express.

TalkTalk TV also entered into a partnership deal to allow BritBox content to be added onto its Youview JVC package.

Are there alternatives to BritBox in the UK?

BritBox UK is not intended to be an all-encompassing juggernaut capable of rivalling other streaming services. It has a clear goal of providing the option to stream the best of British creativity and content from years gone by while also offering brand new episodes of classic shows as well as the latest BritBox originals.

Moreover, it is perhaps best to use BritBox UK as a complementary option in your streaming library. The likes of Disney Plus and Netflix can offer a wide selection of classic content worldwide.

Apple TV Plus is on a hot streak of award-winning original content, and Amazon Prime Video is becoming a go-to option for top sports events.

Click here to compare and contrast each streaming service on offer.

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