back to article Beeb rolls out global paid iPlayer app in €urope

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 …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Chris Miller


    "British licence fee payers can only stream" - the iPlayer Desktop has had download options including 'proper' (or, anyway, better) HD for some while.

    1. dave 93
      Thumb Up

      UK iPad iPlayer only streams - Global iPad iPlayer can download

      It looks good value for €50 a year IF they keep adding stuff regularly. Some sections (Kids) are a bit thin, but lets wait and see how it develops. It is very smooth and slick - much nicer than the web interface IMHO.

      Downloading is a really useful option for iPad - I am going to load it up with kids stuff or the next long car trip (glad I stumped up for the 32Gb iPad now!)

      It is nice having whole series on there, cos I have often missed an episode with the UK one-week(ish) offering.

  2. Citizen Kaned


    when does the license fee come down? surely the UK isnt subsidising everyone again? <facepalm> so, they can access almost the same stuff as me yet pay considerably less?

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge


      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Agreed. The Beeb can produce some amazing TV programmes.

        But just take a look at almost everything on BBC3 and a few other channels.

        I want my money to be not spent on tripe please. It's not just me being an old fuddy-duddy or anything - some of the Beebs' content is really really bad.

        1. dotdavid


          "I want my money to be not spent on tripe please"

          I guess that's where the licence fee model falls down. You can't vote with your wallet about what constitutes tripe.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            I've voted

            I stopped paying the licence fee. I understand that the BBC has to cater for all, but I refuse to be infuriated EVERYTIME a sport or news program airs. Why do they insist on 'Press Red' on screen. In the days of old 'Press Text' was never forced on the viewer. I know I can press green to remove it but why should I have to? It's not interactive TV. We all know the RED button exists, enough already.

            PS I do not watch Live TV any more, the internet caters for my needs.

        2. Anonymous Coward

          "I want my money to be not spent on tripe please."

          One mans "tripe" is anothers "quality". You appear to have forgotten that the Beeb has to cater for all tastes. If you don't like it, switch to BBC4.

        3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
          Thumb Down


          Have to seen the tripe on ITV-1 recently? By contrast, the Beeb is in a different world.

          Then Channel 5 has taken BB. The only thing to describe that is pure and unadulterated tripe.

        4. billranton


          I'm not a fan of BBC3, but I understand that some people like it. If no-one watches it, they take it off. Except for Songs of Praise, which the Queen makes them show.

  3. Stone-eye


    I can and have been able to download shows to watch offline for a long while. This isn't a euro only feature.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Folks, read the article

    They're not talking about the desktop version!! As the first line of the article ("...who own an Apple iPad...") actually tells you! (Hint: read the article fully before commenting, kthx)

    The iPlayer app for iPad in the UK can only stream, it cannot download.

    Nice to know that a version of it can download, not so cool that it sounds like we won't be getting it here - the ability to download something to watch later would actually be very handy on an iPad...

    1. Chris Miller


      I'd forgotten that the word 'app' is no longer a generic abbreviation for application and may only be used to describe software that runs on the cripplePad (no wonder you can't download stuff).

      Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. I will say three 'Hail Steves' and thrash myself with the power cord of an iPhone.

  5. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Great deal

    So if I do the maths, they should be able to offer it at 50 euro less 30% Jobs tax = about £30 a year for Web/Android subscribers - that's a lot cheaper than a licence fee...and they get the archives as well.

    1. Funkstain

      Yes the service is almost identical - BBC I want my fee back!

      OK, so we get:

      - Actual broadcast live TV

      - iPlayer on more than one platform

      - iPlayer catch-up content available immediately

      - iPlayer full archives (not small selection like on continent)

      - FM radio for pretty much any tastes

      but that's definitely not worth an extra £8 a month is it.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge


      Because one of the AppStore rules is that the app and subscriptions can't be sold for cheaper than in the App Store for other platforms or the web. Apple wants its 30% cut and doesn't want the public to know about it.

      I think the BBC have put their foot in it there, they should have called it the iDevice version touchPlayer or something.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    "....who own an Apple iPad ......."

    Bastards. I'm almost tempted to move back to Britain, purely so I can not pay the License Fee in protest at this outbreak of trendy arsehattery.

    Thank Satan[1] for Sky...

    [1] Definitely his work rather than God's...

  7. DJ 2
    Thumb Up

    About bloody time.

    Waiting 5 years to get a badly dubbed DR Who , or wait 6 years and get a box set that costs 60 Euros. Looks like a good option for me :) Auntie beeb comming out of the stone age at last.

  8. Cliff Cheetham

    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".

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I'm not sure about everyone else - I happen to love a lot of the content from the BBC.

      *BUT* the important thing I DO NOT LIKE - is that the licence fee is taken from me at the point of a gun. There is no option *BUT* to pay for it. The only workarounds are a pain, and you're still presumed guilty if you don't play ball.

      1. Mark 65

        @AC: Licence fee

        "There is no option *BUT* to pay for it"

        Oh yes there is. Don't bother. Some dude that's been fighting for years with them has set up a website that tells you how to go about it. There's always an option.

    2. Snobol4
      Thumb Up

      Re:- so where does the revenue go? → #

      Cliff has it right. By chance have just read news of BSkyB latest reported profits:-

      "BSkyB increased its customer base by 426,000 in the year to give it a total of 10,294,000 subscribers.

      Average revenue per customer grew £31 to £539"

      £539 per customer average!!! And guess what - even if you are fool enough to pay these robbers, you STILL have to watch bloody adverts!!!

      My only disappointment is that this article seems to be saying only available on iPad. Why not a full annual subscription version of iPlayer so that all the ex-pats (or people who have to spend large amounts of time working outside the UK) can watch most of UK BBC TV? I am sure this would also attract many non-UK viewers who would love to be able to download and watch the broad range of interesting programming that DOES come out of the BBC - without any BLOODY adverts!

      As a well travelled person I challenge anyone with a strong anti-Beeb attitude to live in another country and experience what "freedom" brings you - millions of channels of cheap, useless crap, interrupted every few seconds (after just the opening credits in the case of the USA) with mindless adverts!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        People have strange reasoning powers

        | £539 per customer average!!!

        I had this argument once with a cow-orker who said that he objected to paying the license fee. I asked him if he had SKY and he said yes. I asked why. he said it was because SKY had all the good stuff and the BBC had nothing (!) good. I said that if he paid, say 2x more to the BBC so that they could afford to pay the ridiculous rates for sporting events and the ridiculous rates for things like The Simpsons, he wouldn't need to pay something like 5x what he paid the BBC in order to get them. Strangely enough, he couldn't see it...

  10. HP Cynic


    People resent the TV Licence Fee for 3 reasons:

    1. It is a tax, legally binding and everything.

    2. You have to pay it even if you never look at the BBC channels or content. That's disgraceful.

    3. It's completely humiliating explaining to foreigners that in the UK you essentially have to buy a licence to watch TV!

    It's antiquated and a modern equivalent would be paying Microsoft £150 a year to own a PC even if you never used it or if you did you ran Linux as your OS.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. cosymart

        Ditto France

        See title

      2. Anonymous Coward


        I agree with your point entirely, that was a bizarre claim to make about foreigners (how often does that topic of conversation come up? Ever?)

        However, UK resellers also pass your details to the TV licencing people.

        Our tv license is in my wife's name, she didn't change her maiden name. I bought a PVR in Dixons. Provided address details at the till, despite a discussion as to why that was required. Received a letter in the post about six months later from the TV licensing saying "You bought this PVR on this date, but appear not to have a license at this address"

        Believe a phone call sorted it out, but I perhaps had to send an email, can't quite remember.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anthony Allen

      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.

    3. Tom 38 Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      If you live in the UK and never look at the BBC channels, radio or internet sites

      You either don't have a TV, are lying, or suck only from the Murdoch teat.

      If it's the latter, given you already pay between £240-£720 a year for TV, I think you can afford to pay for that stuff you don't watch.

      It is a tax on receiving broadcast TV or radio. If you don't watch broadcast TV, you don't have to pay.

    4. Dan 55 Silver badge

      There's a licence fee across most of Europe

      Lookee here...

      Most of Europe actually pays a TV licence in one form or another.

      Try a country which doesn't have one, like Spain. Until last year the state channels had government grants and they were a money pit. All channels had ad breaks of 20 minutes and programs which make your brains dribble out of your ears.

      Last year they decided to cross-subsidise the state-owned channels with a tax on telecoms providers to remove the adverts and proudly proclaim they had something like the BBC and also drive the value of advertising up for the private companies.

      The programs on the state channels are still terrible, the programs on the private channels are still terrible, there are still ad breaks of 20 minutes on the private channels, and the EU wants to knock the cross-subsidy on the head because it's illegal. No Spanish channel produces anything of worth that they can sell abroad with the possible exception of Pocoyo.

      You really don't know what you've got with the BBC until you're forced to watch some of the sludge that's out there. It does some quality stuff and forces the private channels to keep their standards up.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    check the video out...

  12. mark l 2 Silver badge


    Will the programes be dubbed or subtitled or still in English?

    Also will there be a PC version for those none Ipad owners?

    1. David 164

      The BBC have stated that it will becoming to other devices in the future

      Ipad is just the first device chosen.

      The BBC have stated they will be bring it to other devices in the future. I would guest there aim is to at least equal the range of devices the UK iplayer is currently on. Also I believe this is in beta at the moment.

  13. kyza

    Beeb to take on world telly

    The announcement from BBC Worldwide is that this is the begining of what I presume will become an international subscriber service for BBC content worldwide (or at least the bits that the actors rights licencing allows for).

    As funkstain, Chris Cheetham and others have pointed out, the BBC is fantastic VFM - any comparisons with Sky are welcomed since the full Sky meat package comes in at about £600 a year, and you get ads on all the channels. As opposed to the radio, the documentaries, the more than occasional flashes of brilliance in programming and all the other stuff that only the BBC can do because the licence is there.

  14. Nick Pettefar

    Beeble Bauble

    Unfortunately you cannot get anything live or possible recent. Only stuff which they have probably deemed fairly worthless; or so it seems perusing the iPlayer on my iPad. Good job there are other ways of getting what I want. Also they are offering some stuff from other companies too like ITV which might be interesting. I like the idea of downloading of a night and watching the next day or so.

  15. Goffee

    Not in America, yet!

    The Americans would have it too if it wasn't for their daft licensing/contract arrangements - - they'll just have to wait until later ha-ha

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    License fee

    I'm happy to pay £4 a month, once shared amongst house mates, for advert free TV. Even if I do watch TV about twice a week.

  17. Defiant
    Thumb Down

    Make it a volontary subcription

    "Tom 38

    I may get downvoted for this, the BBC is a national treasure"

    If the BBC is that great you wouldn't need to force a entire country to fund it but then again that's how socialists work isn't it

    1. Neily-boy

      True, but......

      The BBC is the just about the only reason that internet news, and internet TV in this country is predominantly free. Remove the BBC and there really would be nothing standing in Murdoch's way from his dream of subscription utopia.

    2. Snobol4

      Re: Make it a volontary subcription → #

      What, you mean like how you choose exactly how all your taxes are spent on a "per case" basis? Defence, Olympics, regional regeneration programs, libraries, swimming pools......

      What a crass, idiotic statement !!!

      Get a life in the real world

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Do not feed...

      ...the Tea Party troll, please folks.

  18. David Evans
    Thumb Down


    Well done to the BBC for finally bringing out the international version of iPlayer they've been talking about for...well, years actually. But which stupid bastard decided it should be just for the iPad?

  19. FreeTard
    Thumb Up

    Fantastic news

    Now when's the PS3 version coming, as I don't have a MAC or Windows, so no itunes.

    I will gladly pay up for this service.

  20. Jon Smit

    The USA in debt to China

    "Defiant -

    ....If the BBC is that great you wouldn't need to force a entire country to fund it but then again that's how socialists work isn't it..."

    Capitalism is doing so well at the moment.

    1. Mark 65

      @Jon Smit

      "Capitalism is doing so well at the moment."

      That's because the Socialists finally spent all of their money.

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge


        Damn those socialist Lehman Brothers!

  21. radical mit2

    its rubbish

    so i thought let try it.. it does not work! you down load stuff, if stops working then reboot the ipad and if you luck it work again, but nothing is downloaded..

    total crap

  22. gribbler

    iPad only? F@#~€¬& B%&%$@#?s

    That really, really, really, really, really, really, really, annoys me.

    Guess I'll just have to keep downloading illegally until they decide to let people who live in Europe and don't have extremely expensive toys play.

  23. Nick Pettefar

    No Sound

    Can't get it to play sound through the speaker, just through the earphones. Is something broken? Do I need to reinstall it? Everything else works! I tried switching it off and on again...

  24. Dr Andrew A. Adams

    Linux, Japan, Please!

    Well, it's a good start. Once they provide a linux version that's accessible in Japan I'll probably subscribe even though everything is available through bittorrent anyway. I like the BBC and want to support them but there's no mechanism here except watching the adverts on BBC World News (which are awful).

  25. Dinky Carter

    At last

    When I moved to Japan in 2003 I asked the Beeb if they were going to do something like this. They said "yes, sometime soon." So I used a SlingBox for 7 years (and pretty damn good it was too.)

    Now that I've just returned to Blighty for good, they've finally got round to it to sorting out the international iPlayer.

    BTW The Japanese also have to pay a licence fee. It's more expensive than the BBC fee, and Japanese TV is utter, utter dross AND plagued with ads every few minutes.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019