ITV executive Reemah Sakaan has been handed the reins to the international roll-out of BritBox, the BBC and ITV-backed SVOD service specializing in British content.
Sakaan will serve as CEO of BritBox International, overseeing the expansion of the service into 25 countries worldwide. She was previously group director of ITV SVOD, managing the launch of BritBox in the U.K., as well as chief brand and creative officer for BritBox Global, where she has been responsible for the editorial and marketing activities for BritBox internationally.
The BritBox international management team, including Moira Hogan, country manager for Australia, and Emily Powers, executive VP and head of BritBox North America, will both report into Sakaan. Set to start in April, Sakaan will lead a team of around 100.
BritBox first launched in North America in March 2017, and surpassed 1.5 million subscribers last fall. In the U.K., BritBox launched in November 2019, followed by Australia a year later, in November 2020. The service will debut in South Africa in the second half of 2021. Up next are launches across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, South America and Africa.
A key digital offering for both the BBC and ITV who have equal stakes in the venture, BritBox boasts the largest collection of British TV boxsets and features content from the BBC, ITV and other U.K. broadcasters. Last year, the U.K. service launched its most ambitious original to date, the satirical puppet show “Spitting Image,” which was a big coup for the streamer. Meanwhile,, “The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco” was the first original Stateside. Overall, the BritBox offering is largely the same across all of its markets to date, with slight variations depending on the availability of rights.
Both BBC and ITV said Sakaan’s appointment followed a “rigorous recruitment process.”
“The role attracted a very impressive field of external candidates which reflects the strength and appeal of the BritBox brand. Reemah was deservedly successful and I am really pleased that she will lead BritBox internationally,” said ITV CEO Carolyn McCall.
“BritBox is now firmly established as a global premium brand in a rapidly growing sector. I am confident that under Reemah’s leadership BritBox will continue to grow in our existing countries and successfully expand worldwide,” added McCall.
BBC Director General Tim Davie said: “This is an important moment for BritBox and its ambitions to become a truly global brand. We know international audiences are turning to the service for great British television and with Reemah heading up the next phase of growth I am confident we will see further success.”
Sakaan said: “It’s been fantastic to have been part of the BritBox journey so far. I can’t wait for our next exciting phase of growth in existing markets and to put BritBox and the best of British creativity on the map in many more.”