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iPlayer to go global?

by Pete Mason on 30 August 2010, 13:34

Tags: iPlayer, BBC

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Since it launched in late 2007, the BBC iPlayer has been hugely successful.  While the service is now available on a wide range of devices from phones to games consoles, it has only ever been open to those in the UK.  However, that might all be about to change.

Speaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival,  the Beeb's Director-General Mark Thompson told attendees that an international version of the iPlayer is set to roll-out within the year.  Unlike the domestic service, the worldwide variant will be a commercial venture.  However, Thompson did not go into detail whether it would be a ‘pay-for' service, supported by advertising or something completely different.

He also outlined plans to let "UK licence fee payers and servicemen and women use the UK iPlayer wherever they are in the world," though offered no further information on how this might be achieved.

Obviously, commercial services from the Corporation are nothing new.  The Trust has come under scrutiny over the years regarding the activities - and profits - of BBC Worldwide, its international licensing and production division.

If the success of the iPlayer was replicated with a commercial version abroad, the profits could be significant.  Of course, these would then be fed back into the Corporation's coffers, which would clearly benefit the license-fee-paying public in the UK.

Do you think that the BBC should expand the scope of the iPlayer, or focus on the domestic market that the Corporation was set-up to serve? Let us know in the HEXUS.community.



HEXUS Forums :: 10 Comments

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Do you think that the BBC should expand the scope of the iPlayer, or focus on the domestic market that the Corporation was set-up to serve?
By expanding iPlayer to international audiences, they are serving the domestic market. Aditional revenue from BBC Worlwide means either less cuts to UK services or less need to increase the license fee. I really don't see what the problem is. Especially if they are also going to make iPlayer available to license fee payers along with service personel wherever they are in the world. That is most definitely a good thing. I would imagine that would all come under the same platform so it makes complete sense.

It would be good if more of their back catalogue was made available on demand too though. I know a lot is made available on DVD, but having complete libraries of the classic BBC sitcoms, documentaries and dramas available directly through iPlayer apps on TVs and set top boxes would be a great thing if you ask me.
They show Family Guy all the time.. Stick that on iPlayer please BBC :D.
Not likely due to not being a BBC produced show.
hold on… don't we pay our TV license for this?

To be honest I was quite shocked that the BBC website had adverts on it when I was in the US.
Jay
hold on… don't we pay our TV license for this?

To be honest I was quite shocked that the BBC website had adverts on it when I was in the US.
I'm confused. Either you're saying you want people in the UK to pay to make the BBC free to the rest of the world or that you expect the BBC to some how automagically work out you've paid your licence fee while you're accessing their services from outside the UK. :confused: