BBC plans European iPlayer pilot

Written by Paul Goodhead

June 15, 2011 // 11:30 a.m.

Tags: #bbc #doctor-who #europe #international #iplayer #news #on-demand #pilot #programs #top-gear #usa

The BBC is planning to roll out its online TV iPlayer service to Western Europe later this year, with a view to making it a worldwide service if this small pilot goes well.

The announcement was made at the Banff World Television Festival yesterday by Jana Bennett from the BBC’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide.

However, the service won’t be free, as it is in the UK. Users will have to pay somewhere around £6 ($10) a month for the privilege of being able to watch both recent and archived BBC content.

Initially, BBC Worldwide only plans to make the service available on the Apple iPad, and all programs will be in English. However, this could change in the future, as Bennett described the European rollout as ‘very much a pilot'.

If the Western European rollout is successful, the BBC is likely to expand the service to other areas of the globe. Bennett stressed that there was currently no time frame for such a move, however, as the corporation planned to only expand the service ‘in a careful and measured way’.

Nevertheless, the move represents an important step for the BBC, which is under pressure to develop extra revenue streams to complement the licence fee paid by all TV-owning UK households.

Are you based in Western Europe and excited by the prospect of getting the iPlayer service on your iPad? How much would you be prepared to pay for it? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

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