back to article BBC readies global web and TV expansion

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 …

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It might actually work ...

... if they put Dr. Who episodes out on the Web.

And I want to be able to watch it on my Wii.

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Small change!

So, if BBC Worldwide income is supposed to double to £222M, that means it's current about £111M. That's approximately 3% of the BBC budget for 2006/7.

So the sum total of BBC's commercial activities - TV channels in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, UKTV, all the magazines and the BBC shop only contribute £111M? It's such a drop in the ocean, why even bother? Fremantle were wanting £37.5m a year for Neighbours alone!

It seems pretty pathetic that the BBC spends £3.3Billion on making and broadcasting programmes and gets only £111M from all forms of commercial exploitation. They could simply give the content away for all the difference it would make to the balance sheet. They could certainly drop their interest in UKTV and put the archive material back onto the mainstream channels to pad out the yawning gaps that exist even before the latest round of cuts bite.

If it's worth so little, what's all this DRM nonsense about anyway?

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Technological cavemen running the Beeb?

"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."

Clearly these people have never heard of the hosts file. Thanks to hosts, I surf without the likes of Doubleclick (and a vast swathe of other Internet parasites) ever invading my systems.

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RE:Small change!

"They could simply give the content away for all the difference it would make to the balance sheet. They could certainly drop their interest in UKTV and put the archive material back onto the mainstream channels to pad out the yawning gaps"

No, they couldn't. Because the BBC doesn't distribute this content even within the UK on a permanent basis because they don't even remotely have the rights, and they can't afford to do so without a massive increase in the licence fee (and by massive I mean it not being three figures anymore). Same reason why they don't repeat some archive material - there's plenty of archive sitcoms where a 30 minute repeat costs more than BBC 1 daytime's entire budget.

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About farging time

Ex-pats around the world have been screaming for a subscription BBC service for the last 10 years. I woud personally be quite happy to fork out $30 a month for access.

Efros

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Anonymous Coward

If it's about advertising, why not use Joost

If it's all about advertising, why bother with their own iplayer and give Joost a go?

Daz

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@ 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...

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Happy

@ 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".

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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?

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