‘Sad times’ TV fans cry as ITV announces closure of streaming app


ITV has announced that the BritBox streaming service app will close down in a matter of weeks.

Users have been warned the standalone service will disappear in April.


2AAJTWK Britbox streaming service app by the BBC and ITV on a mobile phoneCredit: Alamy

BritBox UK was launched in 2019 as a joint venture between BBC and ITV to take on the might of Netflix and Amazon – ITV later bought the BBC out of its share in the UK business.

It’s largely made up of archive shows, as well as some exclusives like Spitting Image.

Another one bites the dust

BritBox user

However, when ITVX launched at the end of 2022 all of BritBox’s content was rolled into ITVX Premium and most users were urged to jump ship.

But people were able to continue using the separate app and website if they preferred – until now.

After April, the BritBox service will only be available to watch with an ITVX Premium subscription, on ITVX.

The majority of the BritBox subscribers will be automatically shifted across, where they’ll also have access to content from ITV ad-free and StudioCanal Presents movies.

All remaining BritBox subscriptions will be cancelled upon the closure of the BritBox app – customers will be informed via email about the status of their subscription.

ITV has assured customers that the price – £5.99 per month or £59.99 per year – will remain the same.

Viewers reacted on social media, saying it was “sad times” to see the standalone service go.

“I’ve always resisted paying for the content from ITV/Channel 4 to remove ads,” one BritBox viewer wrote on Reddit.

Spitting Image is among the exclusive shows on BritBox

“Another one bites the dust,” a second user said.

BritBox watchlist and viewing history

Some users wondered whether they’ll be able to keep their watchlist and viewing history once they are moved to ITVX.

Unfortunately, ITV has confirmed to The Sun that these won’t be migrated across.

The firm also says that the closure of the BritBox app and migration of subscribers does not affect the BritBox Amazon Prime Video Channel.

Why is BritBox closing?

Analysis by Jamie Harris, Senior Technology and Science Reporter at The Sun

The closure of BritBox’s app was bound to happen at some point once ITV made the same content available on ITVX.

As a company, it just makes no sense to offer the exact same shows and movies on two separate platforms.

Despite all the fanfare, BritBox never really made a big dent on the big guns like Netflix as bosses had hoped.

But remember there’s also an international BritBox (which is still a joint project between ITV and BBC Studios) available in the US, Canada, Australia, South Africa and the Nordics.

That has more than three million subscribers and will very much continue.

BritBox UK’s standalone closure is another example of the consolidation happening across the streaming world.

Sky closed the little-known Peacock service in the UK despite it being huge in America.

And across the pond we’ve also seen how Disney is planning to merge Disney+ and Hulu.

Warner Bros Discovery has not long merged to create one company and there’s already talk of it merging with Paramount next, so we could see more services combining in future.