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BBC Planning To Launch Global iPlayer VoD Service 179

An anonymous reader writes "The BBC is reportedly mulling over plans to come up with an international edition of its hugely popular iPlayer service, in a bid to allow global audiences to catch up with some of its top shows, according to BBC Worldwide, the corporation's profit-making arm. BBC Worldwide said that the move would help revamp its business model, and thereby help the corporation in raking in significant profits through its premium content."
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BBC Planning To Launch Global iPlayer VoD Service

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  • $10 per episode? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fartymenams ( 890764 )
    From the article: "Luke Bradley Jones, chief of the BBC Worldwide’s digital operations in the US, said in a statement: “Millions of people love Torchwood and would probably pay ten bucks an episode rather than two bucks”. Or they'll laugh all their way to usenet or bittorrent. $10 per episode?!
    • As good as some of the shows are, $2/episode is too much.

    • Who are is this guy kidding?!

    • This is one of those quotes that has to be remembered. Paying 10 dollars (and most likely 10 euros) for a SINGLE tv episode...

      This guy is not just out of touch with reality, he might actually be classified as insane. Imagine having to pay that for something like well, Torchwood. It has 3 seasons, each 13 eps long, so lets make it an even 30x 10 is 300 dollars for this show alone.

      Season 1 on DVD costs 47 dollars (on amazon) and 2 costs 57. Lets assume season 3 costs 60 and you have to pay on the iPlayer D

      • Their DVDs are priced at similarly silly levels. I own quite a few Blake's 7 VHS tapes, and I was considering picking up the complete series on DVD until I saw the price. I'd just bought the whole of Babylon 5, so that was my price comparison. Each season of Babylon 5 costs £13 and contains 22 episodes (around 50p/episode). Each season of Blake's 7 costs £25 and contains 13 episodes (around £2/episode). Given that Blake's 7 was made much earlier (1978 vs 1994 for the first season of e

        • Well, if you have a tv tuner card in your computer, you can just hook the vcr to it and stream the shows onto your computer, then make your own dvds from that. Oh, wait, you're talking pounds sterling, you're British. Sorry. The solution would work, but you're taxed into bankruptcy there if you have a tv, a tv card, or anything the Beeb could possibly make a shilling on...
          • No, the licence fee only applies if you use equipment to receive broadcasts - *owning* the equipment doesn't need a licence. So transferring from VHS to DVD via a TV card would be perfectly acceptable.

            • I'm sure the licensing people would consider the fact of owning a tuner card to be 'evidence' of the owner actually watching tv in realtime as the show is being broadcast.
    • by Macgrrl ( 762836 )

      That explains the pricing structure on BBC DVDs at the local DVD store. :(

      I keep wanting to buy Torchwood and Dr Who, but it costs 4 times the price I pay for the average HBO series.

      Lets not even start on the price of old series like Blakes 7, which have not dropped in the several years they have been out.

  • QI Please (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Adrian Lopez ( 2615 ) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @07:47PM (#29860807) Homepage

    I hope they include QI in their international lineup. I've been waiting for that show to become available here since I first saw it on YouTube, but no US station has agreed to carry it. These days such videos are taken down pretty quickly, so a legitimate feed of BBC programs would be very welcome indeed.

  • ... it says that they will

    The international edition of the iPlayer would include host of popular shows from the BBC's array, such as Torchwood, Doctor Who, and Top Gear, along with historical stuffs from the BBC archives

    However it goes on to say

    However, the international iteration of the iPlayer wouldn't show domestic content

    One big difference between BBC and BBC America right now is commercials and their impact on what we see in America. If the international iPlayer still gives Americans the sliced-up 40-minute shows (as opposed to the 1-hour versions seen in the UK), then they aren't offering anything that isn't already offered in the US on cable (this could be considered "domestic").

    Furthermore, those of us who are fans of Top Gear also know that we have missed a lot o

  • Good quality? No ads? Reasonable price? Uncut? Where do I sign?

    I just can't see the Beeb redistributing imports like the excellent Spiral [], the English title for Engrenages []. Most of this stuff ends up on DVD (I bought Spiral on DVD from Australia, complete with SBS's [] Aussie subtitles), but not always.


  • Give me this: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <deleted@slashdot ... minus physicist> on Saturday October 24, 2009 @08:40PM (#29861111)

    - Doctor Who and Top Gear :)
    - PayPal micro-payment as an alternative to watching ads, or where you can't get any ads for.
    - A price that is somewhere in the range of what you'd get from advertisers.

    Why that price? Because I know what you get for ads on the web. And those prices are so low per individual viewer, that BBC would still make a better profit, by asking 5 cent per show, or something like that. A price that nobody can ever think of as too expensive.

    I would be happy to pay for something that deserves that money.

    Comedy Central should do the same with The Daily Show. Come on. Those prices are like nothing! And you still make a hell of a better profit, as when advertising! And people still can choose to watch the ads, if it's not worth money for them.
    It's a no-brainer! A win-win!

    You could also let us buy a whole season at once. 65 cent for 13 episodes.

    Oh, and of course I expect to be able to save it right from the player. Because I can save it anyway (After all, it already had to be transferred to my computer, to be watchable!), and using my Firefox add-on is not even any hassle. But the gesture of letting me save it right in your player, will show a friendliness that crates important sympathies.

    P.S.: I'm a bit ill today, and not that fit. so sorry if my sentences look a bit weird to read. ^^ I hope it all makes sense anyway.

    • by wrook ( 134116 )

      Personally, I would pay the normal license fee for access to all of BBC's content. Unfortunately, I don't think that will ever happen. For some things they simply don't have the rights for redistribution outside of the UK. A good example is football. On the odd occasion that they broadcast a football match, there's just no way they will be able to negotiate rights outside of the UK.

      Still, if I could find a legal way to watch Dr. Who that would be a tremendous step forward for me. Living in the country

      • Give me the full episodes

      Those of us who have BBC America are getting, generally, 2/3rds of the programming per show that our British counterparts get. This can be especially egregious in some Top Gear episodes where 20 minutes is removed to make room for commercials. And then to make matters worse they sell those same butchered episodes to us in American stores as well.

      I would happily pay to see the full Top Gear episodes that I am missing, especially from the seasons that have never been shown in Am

      • by dwater ( 72834 )

        Yes, all those ad break are incredibly annoying.

        I seriously don't know how you put up with them. When I lived in the US, I bought a Replay TV, which skipped the ads very nicely...wonderful device.

        Now I'm living in Finland, the US shows I watch on TV have half the number of ads, so we have the show 'going to ads' and then coming right back again....better than actually having the ads, but still very annoying.

        • by dwater ( 72834 )

          ...oh, and I now remember *why* they're so's because the shows have a tendency to summarise what happened before it broke for the ads, so when you don't have any actual ads, the summary is completely we keep going...come on..we know all this...get on with it! Tsk.

          • ...oh, and I now remember *why* they're so's because the shows have a tendency to summarise what happened before it broke for the ads, so when you don't have any actual ads, the summary is completely unnecessary...

            No, the problem is worse than that. As I mentioned, the BBC shows are a full hour of content in the UK. When they come over for American broadcast, they trim out over 20 minutes of the show in order to make room for commercials. Sure, the ads suck, but the fact that we never get the content over here sucks even more. If you go to your favorite place to buy DVDs in America and buy Top Gear on DVD, you'll get the butchered version we see on BBC America (40 minutes per episode). If someone buys the sam

            • by dwater ( 72834 )

              > No, the problem is worse than that

              *Your* problem might be worse than that, but I'm talking about a different problem...that of watching US shows outside the US.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by gbjbaanb ( 229885 )

              Probably because BBC America isn't the BBC, its a commercial entity set up to screw you out of as much $$ as they can get away with (the American dream, right?). The BBC itself is not allowed to fund any programmes not available to UK viewers, so these corporates have to be legally and organisationally separate, and entirely self-funded.

              So the BBC will be selling the full hour episodes to BBC America, which then 'reformats' it for domestic viewing based on the current environment - ie adding loads of ads.


    • by dwater ( 72834 )

      Please, not paypal...that's too restrictive to non-US countries. I wouldn't mind paying micropayments on my phone bill, and that's probably where I would watch them anyway.

  • I emailed them years ago asking how to pay for their service. They responded that they have no way to let me pay for the service, or more importantly had no way of providing my content. So I had to go another route. I pay for a UK proxy; specifically the VPN service:

    IF the BBC has VOD, that still won't help with ITV, SKY, and Channel 4 etc.

    In fact I'm watching to Russell Howard's Good News Episode 1. Review: it's OK, but he's not nearly as funny solo as he is on Mock The

  • I don't mind VOD / pay for new movies. I can see people paying for latest-run TV shows, I guess.

    And there's a lot of BBC stuff I'd like to be able to stream, legally - with some sort of reasonable model.

    I'd like to see Doctor Who and whatever that series was that had the British flying around trying to sell franchises, as well as many others - any of the early BlackAdders come to mind as well.

    But these are OLD tv shows. You can make a few bucks selling ads and selling ads for DVD / Blu-ray discs. Consider

  • Its excellent value, its a national treasure, everyone loves it.

    So why exactly does it have to be legally compulsory to subscribe to it if you want to watch any TV? Why is this the only subscription TV that you are obliged to subscribe to? Why, if we really want to make it compulsory to subscribe to some TV, do we not allow you to pick the provider of your choice? Why is it, that if you want to watch the English cricket team go down in flames yet again, you are obliged to subscribe to two TV broadcast se

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll