Beeb rolls out global paid iPlayer app in €urope
Slab-fondlers lured with Fawlty Towers and so on
Expats or foreigners who own an Apple iPad and are interested in a weekly dose of Brit TV gruel – grisly East End folk, crappy daytime shows or pointless period dramas – should rejoice, as the Beeb is launching an international version of iPlayer.
The on-demand service app will be available in 11 European countries in the initial stage: Austria, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Italy, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, France and Luxembourg.
Repeats of classic shows and contemporary programmes will be available for €6.99 a month or €49.99 annually. European viewers will even be able to download content and watch it offline while British licence fee payers can only stream.
Examples the Beeb used to entice prospective users include 1970s comedy Fawlty Towers, 1980s comedy Only Fools and Horses and more recent geek fodder Doctor Who.
These programmes are only broadcast in the UK when the Beeb has run out of ideas/budget or to Sky and Virgin Media subscribers through the Gold channel.
BBC Worldwide is leading the project and will use the supplementary proceeds to produce fresh wonders on screen for the British public and the pilot countries across Europe, before the service is made available in other parts of the world.
"We have an exciting vision of what this service could become and will develop it based on feedback from within these markets," said Jana Bennett, president of worldwide networks and global iPlayer. ®
There is a subsidy going on, but it's BBC Worldwide (wholly owned subsidiary of the BBC) monetizing content in order to subsidize the BBC, so that license fee costs do not go up. Just under a quarter of the Beeb's income comes from flogging stuff to foreigners.
I may get downvoted for this, the BBC is a national treasure, much more so than Stephen Fry. It provides a unique voice for Britain in the world, and produces high quality programming, with a requirement to produce educational content, like the excellent natural science programmes produced in the last ten years (Life, Blue Planet, Wild China etc). It must continue to be publicly funded to provide this globally unique situation.
Is that a fact?
Re: Point 3. Is that a fact? Living in Sweden I have to pay around £200 per year for my TV licence, with a service that is at least 10 times worse than the beeb. I also know for a fact Norway and Denmark are even more expensive. Personally I think the bbc are world leaders in TV programming. Their documentaries are are recognised to be the best in the world, they produce high quality news reporting, sports/athletics coverage that commercial channels wouldn't consider viable as well as fantastic dramas.
You don't know what you've got until you've lost it.
so where does the revenue go?
according the BBC annual report 2009/2010, their funding is as follows (including Radio)
£3,446m - License fee
£888m Commercial Business (BBC Worldwide and similar)
£293m Government Grants
£112m Other content (overseas rights, concerts etc)
So the % of extra income to off-set the license fee would have to be pretty huge, just to cover half of the license fee at €49.99/year for "selected" content (not all of it remember) the beeb would have to get roughly 30m subscribers !!
The license fee is currently @40p per day per house hold (on average 15p per person/day, or 0.625p/hr)
New DVD £15, lasts @2 hours - watch it 1,200 times for same value
New Album £10 - lasts @1 hour - equal to 66 days of BBC content
Even if you don't like 95% of the BBC's content you are still getting good value for money. I'm always confused by peoples dislike of the license fee, given the content offered by advertising funded alternatives right now, the license fee feels more like an investment in a more educated and aware society than a so called "tax".