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BBC iPlayer to go global

by Sarah Griffiths on 9 November 2010, 15:02

Tags: BBC

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Telly addicts

A global version of BBC iPlayer will be rolled out next year, having secured the backing of the BBC's Trust.

Jon Smith, the chief exec of the beeb's commercial wing called BBC Worldwide told The Daily Telegraph a global roll-out would take advantage of the ‘under-exploited' demand for UK shows like Doctor Who or Top Gear...although the jury might be out when it comes to Eastenders and Autumn Watch.

An international move could mean advertising could be introduced to iPlayer in a bid to bring in big bucks, unless BBC Worldwide decides to charge viewers for using the service. 

While execs are still mulling the pros and cons of both options, the Trust is probably keen to pull in some extra cash after the Government recently froze the licence fee.

It predicts international viewers could be prepared to fork out $10 for one episode of one of the BBC's big hitting shows.

Smith told the newspaper: "Not only will that mean international fans of, for example, Doctor Who can get their fix legitimately, but it has the potential of opening up a new revenue stream for the entire UK production industry, alongside sales to traditional broadcasters."

Meanwhile iPlayer's MD, Luke Bradley-Jones, reportedly said: "Our research has shown there is an international audience of British TV fans that are frequently watching TV online - and we are excited about rolling out our iPlayer VOD [video-on-demand] service to meet and grow this demand. We strongly believe the Global iPlayer is going to offer an excellent opportunity for the UK's creative industry to directly reach much sought after digital audiences and revenue streams around the world."

The BBC's director general, Mark Thompson told attendees of the Edinburgh International Television Festival this summer, that iPlayer would go global by the end of the year.



HEXUS Forums :: 8 Comments

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Can't wait to see how many of the international viewership of the BBC rush to take the opportunity of paying $10 per episode to do something they can do, and have been doing, for free about 5 minutes after the show has finished… monkeys.
Not sure what the guy above is talking about but my Dad and I work overseas and we would love to have access to BBC iPlayer. With the roll out of IPTV this could become as much a killer app overseas as it is already in the UK.

A subscription of £10 per month would be sweet, rather than having the pay per view episode style charging model.

Well done BBC! :woowoo:
How about making it available for unlimited use with a yearly subscription to those abroad,
they could charge, say £145.50 ;)

That's what they already charge us natives anyway…
mikerr
How about making it available for unlimited use with a yearly subscription to those abroad,
they could charge, say £145.50 ;)

That's what they already charge us natives anyway…

…or just channel the extra cash towards BBC salaries via its commercial arm.

So can you already get this stuff outside the UK hermano pequeno?
I'd like to see it go Android first!