BBC Studios Acquires ITV’s Stake in BritBox International for £255M

BBC Studios Acquires ITV's Stake in BritBox International for £255M | Enterprise Wired

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In a historic deal, BBC Studios has acquired ITV’s 50% shareholding in BritBox International, the joint venture streamer. The transaction, valued at £255 million ($322 million), represents the largest single deal ever undertaken by the BBC’s commercial arm. ITV confirmed the sale, with proceeds set to be returned to shareholders through a share buyback scheme post the announcement of full-year results on March 7.

CEO Transition and New Leadership Plans

As a result of the acquisition, BritBox International CEO Reemah Sakaan will exit the business, which will become part of the BBC Studios Global Media & Streaming division. New leadership plans are said to be already in place to ensure a smooth transition, with an official announcement expected imminently. Sakaan is anticipated to remain with BritBox during the transitional period.

Strategic Importance and Valuation of BritBox International

The deal values BritBox International at over £500 million, making it the largest single agreement ever struck by BBC Studios. BritBox International, which boasts nearly four million subscribers across eight territories, has become a profitable and successful venture. Tom Fussell, BBC Studios CEO, emphasized the strategic importance of the acquisition, stating that it aligns with their goal to double the size of their business. BritBox International, with its focus on British content, has generated significant demand for British shows globally.

Continuity in Programming Strategy and ITV’s Focus on ITVX

While the acquisition signals a change in ownership, the programming strategy for BritBox International is expected to remain unchanged. The platform will continue to commission content from a variety of UK independent producers, as well as BBC Studios and ITV. Producers have been assured that the new arrangement will not impact commissioning plans. ITV, on the other hand, is exiting the joint venture to concentrate on the growth of its own streamer, ITVX, and its global ITV Studios division. ITV Studios will continue to receive an ongoing revenue stream from BritBox International under new extended licensing agreements.

The acquisition by BBC Studios comes at the end of a bustling week for both ITV Studios and BBC Studios, who have been actively showcasing their latest content to international buyers at the London TV Screenings and BBC Studios Showcase events in the British capital.

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