PaidContent is reporting that the BBC is currently looking to make its iPlayer video-on-demand service available to UK license payers whilst they are abroad, simultaneously developing an commercial version that would deliver BBC programming to audiences worldwide.
Talking at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, BBC Director-General Mark Thompson insisted that businessmen should be able to view a “UK version of the iPlayer wherever they are in the world”, despite a somewhat tepid response from existing iPlayer users.
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BBC’s commercial wing, BBC Worldwide, already syndicates video-on-demand content to third-party aggregators like iTunes, where it has over 1,000 episodes available for purchase. Thompson indicated that an international commercial version of the iPlayer would launch “within a year” and had already been in the BBC’s plans for the past twelve months.
Having a branded international portal for BBC content would give content producers the opportunity to reach a worldwide audience, adding to popular programmes like Doctor Who and Top Gear which already attract large audiences in the U.S. An online portal would increase the number of programmes available, giving producers and the corporation the ability to earn more revenue from their content.