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BBC Studios to Launch BBC Select Streaming Service in the U.S and Canada Next Year

Stephanie Sengwe

BBC Studios is joining the streaming world with an upcoming service titled, BBC Select. The service will be ad-free, subscription based and will launch in early 2021 in the U.S. and Canada. BBC Select’s content offerings will run the gamut, from culture all the way to politics. The service will also carry exclusive premieres for audiences in the U.S. and Canada.

“For nearly a century, the BBC has been synonymous with extraordinary television programs – full stop. Name any genre, the BBC is best in class at identifying talent and providing them a platform for expression,” said Rebecca Glashow, president, BBC Studios – Americas.

“As we shift our business focus to engaging our fans direct, the digital space offers us the opportunity to bring audiences a portfolio of shows that bring new ideas and perspectives into the conversation. Our research has shown that audiences are looking for an alternative to what is already out there. BBC Select is it.”

Exclusive shows include Shock of the Nude, hosted by professor of classics Mary Beard; Reggie Yates in China starring actor, DJ, and presenter Reggie Yates; In Search of Frida Kahlo which follows musician Emeli Sandé —who was inspired by the paintings of Kahlo when writing her album; Fall of an Icon which explores the life of Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi; Mystery of the Missing Princess which tells the story of Princess Latifa, the daughter of Dubai’s ruler; Putin – A Russian Spy Story which assesses the Russian president’s rule; and The Last Igloo which follows a lone Inuit as he hunts, fishes, and constructs an igloo.

In September, the BBC reported their licenses had been dropped by over 250,000 subscribers, the sharpest drop in recent history. One big reason: Younger viewers prefer broader streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube.