BBC readies global web and TV expansion
US iPlayer in the works
Just as the BBC is slashing jobs at home, its commercial tentacle is ramping up efforts to squeeze money from its programming and web content abroad.
As well as 30 new channels in overseas territories, BBC Worldwide is planning an advertising-backed version of its on-demand internet service iPlayer, the Guardian reports.
The controversial Kontiki-based Microsoft-only P2P service is currently blocked to non-UK IP addresses because it is paid for by the TV licence.
The cash-strapped corporation has told Worldwide to double the profits it funnels back. BBC bigwigs want it to make £222m annually in five years' time.
The push is behind plans, given the green light by the BBC Trust this month, to serve advertising to international users of its web content. That move alone is predicted to bring in £70m per year.
Online efforts will be expanded to include 15 "passion-based" portals themed on popular and advertiser-friendly shows such as Top Gear.
The new TV channels will aim to build on the popularity of BBC America with a high definition version. Other new entertainment, factual, lifestyle, and children's channels are in the works for the US. Europe is being targeted too, beginning with Poland in December.
"We are taking on the big American channel providers and there isn't another UK competitor who can," said Worldwide's channels boss Darren Childs.
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@ Morely Dotes
If you've got a hosts file that has the ability to intercept streamed MPEG2 files and recognise and remove adverts in real time, I may have an interesting proposition for you.
Is it patented yet?
Do you own the IP?
Why does it call itself a "hosts file", when it is clearly nothing of the sort?
@ Anon (About Farging Time) / (Joost)
I'm all for ex-pats and fans around the world paying $30/month for a BBC subscription service. That's more than I pay in a licence fee and in terms of potential market, there's more people living outside the UK than television licence holders in it.
However, it might be worthwhile accepting an advertising-led service. And by sticking to their own proprietary iPlayer, they can keep tight controls on the type of advertising and the copyrighted material like they do already without to much extra work.
On an aside, I'm still surprised how little advertising there is on (UK) Channel 4's 4oD on-demand/download video service. Although it is stlil marked "Beta".
@ Morely Dotes
I don't think changing your hosts file will stop adverts coming in if the BBC put them inside the streams of video that are getting pulled from the content server...
Which they'll do, unless they're complete f**kwits...
Mind you, seeing as they've already bought the player from Verisign for God-knows-how-much rather than build it themselves, it looks likely that hacking the hosts file might actually work...