BBC and ITV’s U.S. Streaming Service BritBox Buys FremantleMedia Package

BritBox has inked its first third-party programming deal, scooping a package of programming from FremantleMedia.

The streaming service will add drama series including “Merlin” and entertainment shows including “Escape to the Country” from later this month.

BritBox was set up as a best-of-British SVOD service by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, and ITV, the U.K. commercial broadcaster, last year.

The service has the largest collection of British programming  in the U.S. and streams British staples including soaps “Eastenders,” and “Coronation Street,” and entertainment series “Strictly Come Dancing,” and “I’m a Celebrity…,” 24 hours after they o out in the U.K.

It has a pipeline of content from its parent companies, but with a lot of programming already accounted for by BBC America and other U.S. channels and services, has moved to supplement its programming with the FremantleMedia fare.

The distribution deal was announced in Cannes at Mipcom.

Soumya Sriraman, president, BritBox, said: “Expanding our offering with content created and distributed by leading British television creators and distributors of Fremantle’s scale and magnitude only catapults us closer to our end goal.”

Other titles in the FremantleMedia package on BritBox, which costs $6.99 a month, include comedy gameshow “QI,” and Mark Gatiss (“Sherlock”) TV movie “Against the Law.” The partners have not disclosed subscriber numbers for the service.

“We work with both our in-house FremantleMedia UK and third party producers to collate a bold, diverse, and exciting catalogue of the very best of British programming, and we’re thrilled that U.S. viewers will get to enjoy it via BritBox,” said Lisa Honig, EVP, international distribution for FremantleMedia International in North America.