BBC iPlayer to be available outside the UK, says BBC DG. Not so fast, say content producers.

Posted: 30 Aug 2010, 27 August 2010, Robert Andrews: "BBC director-general Mark Thompson has committed the corporation to making its iPlayer VOD [video on demand] service available to UK license payers whilst traveling overseas. In his MacTaggart Lecture to the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, Thompson said people like servicemen should be able 'to use a UK version of the iPlayer wherever they are in the world'. The multi-platform iPlayer serves BBC TV and radio shows from the last seven days and has popularised UK time-shifting, taking 114 million programme requests in July. But, to stay within the rights agreed with independent producers, who want to commercialise their productions themselves outside of the BBC’s seven-day window, the service is geo-blocked to work only for UK users. ... Thompson also said: 'Within a year, we wish to launch an international commercial version of the iPlayer.' ... But, though BBCWW already syndicates VOD to commercial third-party aggregators (it has over 1,000 episodes for purchase on iTunes Store in the U.S., Thompson said), [BBC Worldwide] has made slow progress building an overseas version of its own-brand, hosted platform.", 28 August 2010, Robert Andrews: "Independent television producers have vowed to block making BBC iPlayer accessible to UK license payers whilst abroad, just hours after BBC director-general Mark Thompson announced the intention. 'This has not been agreed with the BBC and we will resist this,' John McVay, CEO of the sector’s trade group Pact, told paidContent:UK. 'The terms of trade DO NOT allow for the iPlayer to be accessed outside of the UK as this cuts across the commercial rights of independent producers.' ... Thompson appeared to acknowledge the potential niggle when he announced the idea in his MacTaggart Lecture at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival on Friday night: 'It’s the right time to take a fresh look at whether the current terms are fit for purpose ... we may need more flexibility from the producers.'"

Copyright 2006–2018 Kim Andrew Elliott.