Posted in: BBC, News, Video Distribution, Video on Demand, Web TV Stations by Chris Tew on January 31, 2007

BBC LogoThe BBC, which already offers a variety of on-demand TV shows and news, will soon be offering even more TV over the internet.

The on-demand iPlayer service (sounds like something from Apple) will allow viewers to watch their favorite programs from the previous 7 days and store them on a PC for 30 days. It sounds kind of like an automated DVR service.

iPlayer will allow viewers to watch their favorite programs from the previous 7 days and store them on a PC for 30 days

The BBC is the first traditional TV station in the world to offer all their TV shows on demand and over the internet (well as far as I know). The reason other stations have not done this is because they are supported by advertising and they just simply aren’t comfortable stepping away from a comfortable revenue model. The BBC however just cares about ratings and not how many adverts get viewed.

The BBC is the first traditional TV station in the world to offer all its TV shows on demand and over the internet

UK Media regulator Offcom warned that the BBC iPlayer service could damage the competition, reduce DVD sales and have negative effects on ensuring quality content for the long-term. However, in the long run improving the end-users experience is more important than making content owners adjust to a new distribution and revenue model.

Channel 4, another British TV station launched its own Internet TV service called 4oD (Channel 4 on Demand). Having tried it I can say it was extremely poor and actually charged you to watch many of the programs. It would be cheaper and easier to just record them on a DVR and watch them for free later, and skip the adverts too.

The BBC has got it right here and I hope this will encourage others TV networks to keep pace and offer their content in a similar way. The whole idea has been provisionally approved by the BBC Trust, with a final decision to be made before May 2, 2007 after public consultation.

Big thumbs up to the BBC!

[Via Yahoo News]

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