The BBC is committed to expanding its iPlayer service beyond the borders of the U.K. And it looks as though it will be arriving sooner rather than later, and for a sum of money that should entice lots of people to jump on board.
Last month the BBC launched an iPlayer app for the Apple iPad and Android devices. In the U.K. at least. but it’s this same app that will enable fans of BBC shows such as Top Gear and Doctor Who who aren’t resident in the U.K. to watch their favorites. That is, at least, according to the big boss of the corporation.
In 2011, Less Than $10-A-Month
The BBC iPlayer service will be available internationally before this year comes to a close and for what seems a very reasonable fee.
Speaking at the FT Digital Media & Broadcasting conference, BBC Director General Mark Thompson stated that the international iPlayer app will launch “definitely this year”, and will cost “a small number of dollars per month, definitely fewer than 10.”
The BBC is still exploring “the right pricing and models” but it appears the current thinking is for an all-in-one monthly fee of a few dollars which will give subscribers access to a host of content, both new and archive.
Less Than The License Fee
Those of you in the U.K. will no doubt have already done the math and worked out that at $120 (£75) this is almost half the cost of a full television license. Which effectively means those outside the U.K. will be able to watch BBC programming for less outlay than those within its borders.
The BBC has addressed this issue, however, with a spokesperson telling the Telegraph:
“The global iPlayer will not be the BBC’s entire UK services for a year wrapped up in an app. It will be a combination of current and past shows, editorially tailored for different international audiences. By contrast, the license fee entitles UK households to receive 10 TV channels, 15 national and 40 local radio services, BBC Online, BBC Mobile and BBC iPlayer – all free at the point of use.”
I accept the point and it’s fair enough. But I can well imagine some people who are already opposed to having to pay for the privilege of watching the BBC will kick up a fuss once this is all officially announced and no doubt covered in the mainstream press.
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