19 FEB 2021

BBC SELECT LAUNCHES IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA

The platform will initially be available on Amazon Prime Video Channels and the Apple TV app. Operated by BBC Studios, the commercial arm of the BBC, BBC Select will be priced at $4.99 in the United States and CAD$6.99 in Canada.

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BBC Studios has debuted its new streaming service, BBC Select, in the United States and Canada. The platform will initially be available on Amazon Prime Video Channels and the Apple TV app. Operated by BBC Studios, the commercial arm of the BBC, BBC Select will be priced at $4.99 in the United States and CAD$6.99 in Canada.

In contrast to the entertainment-led BritBox, run with partner ITV, BBC Select’s offering promises a keen focus on culture, politics and ideas, leveraging the corporation’s documentary backbone. “We live in incredibly complicated times and I felt there wasn’t a service to pick apart the complexity and get under the skin of the age we live in,”  Jon Farrar, Global VOD Ddirector for BBC Studios, told Variety.

Shows available on the new streamer include acclaimed doc series “The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty,” which will have its US premiere on BBC Select, as well as “The Fall of an Icon,” about disgraced Myanmar politician Aung San Suu Kyi, and the films of Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry and documentary presenter Louis Theroux. In the future, there could be day-and-date releases with some of the magazine programs out of the United Kingdom.

Many of these shows typically air on the BBC Four channel in the UK, the dedicated home for arts programming with a heady mix of current affairs and international fare. There was talk last year of BBC Four rolling out internationally as an SVOD service, and though it doesn’t have the label, BBC Select effectively serves that purpose for the corporation, according to Variety.

“We’ve got a really clear remit for the service,”  said Louise la Grange, General Manager and Launch Director for BBC Select, who highlights that natural history, for example, is purposely excluded from the platform. “That already has an outlet in North America, and sits across BBC America, PBS, Discovery, and BBC Earth in Canada,” she noted.