Dec 4, 2011

Acorn TV gives subscribers their Brit fix

Acorn Media, a leading U.S. distributor of British programming on DVD, now is offering a streaming video Web site of classic British shows — a genre once considered just PBS's territory. For $24.99 a year, subscribers to Acorn TV get full seasons of 10 shows at a time, rotating every week, reports the Washington Post. "Acorn TV is similar to Netflix streaming," the paper notes, "but with more-plentiful pleasing accents and less rage from customers about confusing practices." The service launched in July and expanded in September.

Acorn Media Group started in 1984 as Atlas Video in the suburban Washington, D.C., basement of founder Peter Edwards, a communications consultant who had also worked at NBC News. John Lorenz, a former longtime director of program business affairs at PBS, joined Atlas in 1994 as executive vice president; that year, the firm changed its name to Acorn. The company, still based in the Silver Spring, Md., now also has offices in London and Sydney, plus a catalog distribution center in Stillwater, Minn.

Acorn is also considering producing original programming, the Post said. It acquired the rights to the popular detective drama Foyle’s War, so it can produce new seasons of the series.

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