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Vital slab-fondler/Tom Baker demographic targeted

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Australians who have lived a lifetime in the shadow of BBC reruns can now ignore them on the Internet, thanks to the launch of the Australian version of the Beeb’s iPlayer app.

Unlike Brits, Aussies won’t be able to play early-run Doctor Who for free. Perhaps partly to protect its relationship with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), which depends on the Beeb for eternal re-runs of wildlife docos and ancient comedies, as well, of course, as the steady diet of the Doctor, the BBC will be charging for access to the local iPlayer service.

However, the broadcaster says it will be offering access to 70 years’ worth of archival material to subscribers, for any Australians that haven’t had enough of the BBC’s archives already.

A trial iPlayer application will be offered, after which subscriptions will be $AU9.49 per month or $AU89.99 annually.

At this stage only iPad users are invited, as was foreshadowed by director general Mark Thompson back in March.

The Australian launch mirrors the iPlayer European service that kicked off in July.

Meanwhile, VPN software outfits offering international access to iPlayer catch-ups to people who don’t mind violating terms of service can breathe a little easier, for now at least. ®

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