BBC to broadcast main channels live on web

Written by Tim Smalley

November 19, 2008 // 2:31 p.m.

Tags: #bbc #internet #one #online #tv #two

The BBC has announced plans to enable live streaming of BBC One and BBC Two to UK viewers from 27th November.

"The launch of BBC One and BBC Two online completes our commitment to make our portfolio of channels available to watch on the Internet. From 27 November licence fee payers will be able to watch BBC programmes, live, wherever they are in the UK on their computers, mobile phones and other portable devices," said Jana Bennett, Director of BBC Vision.

BBC Three, BBC Four, BBC News and the broadcaster's two children's channels can already be watched live via their respective websites.

If viewers miss any programmes via the live webstream, they will be available for up to a week on the BBC iPlayer.

Media watchdog Ofcom has said that the number of people watching TV on the Internet in the UK has doubled in the last twelve months - we expect it to increase exponentially now that BBC One and Two are soon to be available online.

However, it's worth noting that Bennett says "licence fee payers" in her statement - watching shows using iPlayer doesn't require a licence, but watching a live broadcast does, regardless of whether you're receiving it via a television aerial or through the almighty tubes.

One has to wonder how this is going to be enforced by the authorities and, as The Register points out, will public WiFi hotspots need a business TV licence in case their customers want to watch Eastenders during their coffee break? I guess we'll find out over time.

Do you think this is a good move for the Beeb? Let us know in the forums.
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