Who knew? British TV is actually popular worldwide. So popular, in fact, that John Smith, head of BBC Worldwide not the beer guy, has decided to make the domestically popular on-demand TV service BBC iPlayer available in continental Europe and North America.
There’s no word on timescales yet, but what we can predict is that overseas viewers will probably incur some sort of charges whether it be by paying with actual money or through ads, but either way they won’t escape an equivalent of the widely debated license fee we pay over here.
This development has been presumed for quite a while and that it was only a matter of time before the BBC takes the iPlayer global to various international markets as a means of making additional revenue. Perhaps the recent cuts are yet another reason for them to look at doing this? Or just a natural progression?
What’s interesting here though, in my opinion anyway, is that with with US shows airing on channels such as Sky 1 or becoming available on iTunes sooner and sooner after the initial air in the States, and the transition of UK TV into the American market, how long will it be before we see Hulu content or even Google TV appearing on our shores?
Maybe never, I suppose it’s down to the goodness in the networks hearts whether they feel it viable to provide our comparatively diminutive population with the best of the US as it happens. Of course, this would mean sitting up half the night, but that didn’t stop nearly six hundred-thousand Lost fans tuning in to Sky 1 for the Lost series finale which aired simultaneously with the US.
Perhaps this is all part of a process that will see TV content distribution from around the world continue to more aligned with just hours between broadcast times instead of what was once took months or even years to cross from one country’s TV network to international broadcasting.
I have to say though that it would be nice to have US content, and though we may not agree that their comedies do not suit our traditional sinister and sarcastic sense of humour a lot of the time and we would rather watch the FA Cup final than the Superbowl, I’m sure we all agree that there’s plenty of great TV content out there that we all agree is quality entertainment and more choice and convenience is better all round.
Presumably viewers will be less likely to pirate/download illegally and content producers will be rewarded with additional revenue for their TV shows, be it through direct purchases or advertising.
What do you think to the prospect of the BBC iPlayer going international? Good to watch your favourite British shows while abroad and allowing international viewers to help fund the BBC? Would you like to see similar US services such as Hulu and Google TV coming to the UK?
Via – Telegraph