BBC Studios Buys ITV Stake in BritBox International for $322 Million

BBC Studios has bought British broadcaster ITV‘s 50% stake in streamer BritBox International for £255 million ($322 million), the companies revealed on Friday.

The streamer was founded in 2017 as a joint venture between BBC Studios, which is the commercial arm of the British broadcaster, and ITV. “The transaction will provide net proceeds including loan repayments and accrued dividends and after tax of around £235 million,” the companies said.

“The sale reflects ITV’s strategy of focusing on supercharging its U.K. advertiser-funded streaming service, ITVX and growing its global Studios division,” ITV added. “The board intends to return the entire net sale proceeds to shareholders through a share buyback which it expects to launch imminently after the full-year results on March 7.”

Under the terms of the agreement, ITV Studios will continue to receive an ongoing revenue stream from BritBox International similar to current levels for the use of ITV content under new extended licensing agreements. BritBox U.K. will remain unaffected and will still feature BBC content as part of separate long-term agreements. In 2022, ITV had bought out the BBC’s share of BritBox U.K. ahead of the launch of ITVX.

Carolyn McCall, ITV CEO said: “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. I would like to thank the BritBox International team for making the company such a success and particularly CEO Reemah Sakaan for her leadership, drive and vision.”

Tom Fussell, BBC Studios CEO, added: “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. Britbox International has British content at its heart and it generates and satisfies demand for British shows outside the U.K. We will continue to make significant investments in the future to deliver long term value to the BBC. I’d like to thank Reemah for her outstanding contribution to BritBox International, which under her stewardship has seen remarkable year-on-year growth.”


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