BBC launches culture and politics-focused SVOD in Canada, U.S.

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Ad-free service BBC Selects becomes the latest entrant in a fast-growing domestic SVOD market.

There’s a new streaming offering in the Canadian market after BBC Studios launched its ad-free SVOD, BBC Select.

The doc-focused service, which launched Thursday (Feb. 18) in Canada and the U.S., features unscripted content looking at culture and politics, in addition to a roster of originals. In Canada it costs $6.99 a month and is available through Amazon Prime Video Channels and the Apple TV app.

New programming unveiled alongside the launch includes: The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty (3 x 50 minutes); 54 Days: America and the Pandemic (1 x 60 minutes); TV’s Black Renaissance: Reggie Yates in Hollywood (1 x 60 minutes, pictured); Feats (3 x 60 minutes); Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby (6 x 50 minutes); Extraordinary Places to Eat (4 x 60 minutes); 100 Vaginas (1 x 60 minutes); and Million Dollar Wedding Planner (1 x 50 minutes). 

BBC Selects arrives a few years after Britbox, which has demonstrated there is a spot in the North American SVOD market for British-focused services. According to Britbox, it has amassed around 1.5 million paid subscribers in the U.S. and Canada since its launch.

The launch of BBC Select also comes a little over six weeks since the closure of BBC Canada, the Corus-owned specialty channel. The channel was majority owned by Corus (80%), while BBC Studios held a 20% ownership stake.