Published: Thu, March 09, 2017
Culture | By Kelly Harrison

There's a new British TV streaming service, but don't get too excited

There's a new British TV streaming service, but don't get too excited

The Now category will show soaps including EastEnders, Emmerdale, Holby City and Corrie.

Worldwide and ITV will be teaming up to launch BritBox, a new subscription video-on-demand streaming service.

Rejoice, Anglophiles and British expats: UK TV is now going to be much easier to watch.

BritBox's potential for success mostly depends on the level of demand in the USA for British TV shows, some of which American audiences may not even be aware of yet.

What's even more exciting than legacy BBC and ITV hit shows?

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It features US premieres of new dramas, a "Now" category that serves up British soaps and other programs as soon as 24 hours after their United Kingdom broadcast and a library of iconic series.

There is certainly a market for British programming in the U.S. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon all continue to license - often exclusively - popular British TV shows. Some British TV has made its way over to U.S. networks and streaming services, but a lot of it has been hard to come by on this side of the pond.

After a free seven-day trial, BritBox is $6.99 monthly; subscribers can watch on Android and iOS devices and AppleTV, with Chromecast and Roku availability coming soon. And while newer shows aren't well represented, there are some worthwhile options when it comes to classic British TV, including the originalversion of The Office, Miss Marple, Gavin & Stacey, A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Absolutely Fabulous, Blackadder, and Red Dwarf.

Along with exclusives, BritBox will also having US premieres including New Blood from acclaimed writer Anthony Horowitz, and Tutankhamun from BAFTA award-winning writer Guy Burt.

In total, there are over 2,000 of hours of programing available at launch. British online streaming service Walter Presents, which focuses on curated foreign-language drama series and has developed a loyal following amid growing demand for high-end series from around the world, previously also announced that it would be coming to the US this month with a monthly price of $6.99. Other curated playlists include: "Best of British Comedy", "Iconic Detectives", and "Literary Adaptations". Fans of British TV would do well to compare its content with streaming service Acorn TV, which, for a slightly more competitive $5 a month, also offers a range of Brit-made shows.

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