back to article BBC blueprint to make EVERY programme on TV a repeat revealed

The BBC Trust has approved a year-long trial project to show all programmes on iPlayer first. Some 40 hours of content across all genres will be made available online ahead of its TV broadcast, technically making every transmission a repeat. The Beeb has put out online-only content in the past, but this latest green-light …

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  1. snellasaurus

    I wonder

    How will this affect the licence fee loophole which allows 'catchup' viewing via iPlayer without a licence. Presumably you would need a licence if you wish to watch the prog before it has been broadcast as a repeat. - after which you can still use the catchup service....

    1. Test Man
      Stop

      Re: I wonder

      It's not a broadcast though. You only need a licence if you're watching it online at the same time as it's being broadcast.

      Making it available via iPlayer before it's broadcast clearly doesn't count, as it's not being made available online at the same time it's being broadcast.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wonder

      Maybe it will work in reverse - as all broadcasts will effectively be catch-up you may need a licence for iPlayer but not for over-the-air. Somehow I doubt this will happen and expect that this has been brought in specifically to close the loop-hole before people switch to iplayer only in their droves.

      I bet the ISPs will be happy - not.

    3. McWibble

      Re: I wonder

      This is the first thing I thought of while reading this article as well. Currently I use iPlayer to (perfectly legally) watch the very occasional programme such as Doctor Who or Top gear, but that's it. I neither own nor want a television, and prefer to watch these programmes when I want to, not when the BBC decides they should be broadcast. The fact that it is legal to do so without a licence sometimes makes me wonder why people still rush home to watch a specific programme because "it starts in 5 minutes!!"

      I have no interest in breaking the law - in fact, I actually look forward to the day when one of the licence enforcement monkeys turns up at my door so I can tell them to piss off. If programmes are shown on iPlayer before being broadcast though, then I fear this may result in a change in the law. No way am I buying a licence just to watch Doctor Who and Top Gear, so I may have to either change my habits, or stop watching entirely to remain legal. Not that it bothers me considering I'm not paying for it of course...

      I suspect this post will be met with disapproval from most licence-fee payers - before downvoting me though, bear in mind that I'm not breaking any laws or doing anything unethical here, and if the law were to change, so too would my viewing habits.

      1. Mike 125

        @McWibble

        zzz ... sorry - is this a piece of your brain?... zzz

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Mr Fuzzy

        Re: I wonder

        " I actually look forward to the day when one of the licence enforcement monkeys turns up at my door so I can tell them to piss off."

        You probably won't even need to do that. I pointed them to the obviously analogue only CRT TV connected to a cobbled together media server and they told me they needn't waste any more of my time. It was amusing how quickly they accepted things and left after the doorstep tough guy approach.

        1. Fibbles

          Re: I wonder

          "You probably won't even need to do that. I pointed them to the obviously analogue only CRT TV connected to a cobbled together media server and they told me they needn't waste any more of my time. It was amusing how quickly they accepted things and left after the doorstep tough guy approach."

          You don't even need to do that. A simple exchange along these lines usually suffices:

          [Inspector] Can I come in to check that you're not receiving broadcast TV?

          [Me] Do you have a warrant?

          [Inspector] No...

          [Me] There's your answer.

      4. Wize

        @McWibble

        " I neither own nor want a television..."

        What does your furniture face?

    4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Gio Ciampa

        Re: I wonder

        Odd... there's plenty of people who are just as convinced that Auntie is just a mouthpiece for this government...

        Looks like she can't win either way...

        1. Nuke
          Big Brother

          @Eadon/GioCiampa - Re: I wonder

          Eadon wrote :- " the bbc licence fee is a tax you pay for left wing propaganda to be "broadcast" to the nation."

          Gio Ciampa replied :- "Odd... there's plenty of people who are just as convinced that Auntie is just a mouthpiece for this government...Looks like she can't win either way..."

          Are those two descriptions contradictory then?

          1. Killraven

            Re: @Eadon/GioCiampa - I wonder

            If the service is being fair, then not at all. But nobody likes it when the other side is allowed their say.

        2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          @Gio Re: I wonder

          "Odd... there's plenty of people who are just as convinced that Auntie is just a mouthpiece for this government...

          Looks like she can't win either way..."

          .... or may this means she *is* winning.

          I remember years ago one BBC news journalist being asked about political independence at the BBC, and he replied (paraphrased) "You know you are doing it right when BOTH sides are accusing you of being biased against them"

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: I wonder

        > Indeed, the bbc licence fee is a tax you pay for left wing propaganda to be "broadcast" to the nation.

        Awwwww, don't they run Linux, Eadon?

      3. ed2020
        Thumb Down

        Re: I wonder

        @Eadon you sir are a moron.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Joke

        Re: I wonder

        > Indeed, the bbc licence fee is a tax you pay for left wing propaganda to be "broadcast" to the nation.

        In what parallel universe are you typing from ...

      5. Defiant
        WTF?

        Re: I wonder

        Indeed and going off the negatice reps you've got I'd say their PR people have spotted this article, Comments like,

        "you need something to counterbalance the Daily Mail, and the Express...and the Sun"

        Typical fascist BBC PR, no one is allowed to criticise the mighty BBC!

        1. Andrew Richards
          FAIL

          Re: I wonder

          "Typical fascist BBC PR, no one is allowed to criticise the mighty BBC!"

          WTF? Have you actually seen any BBC news coverage of its own mistakes? The self-criticism is so thorough it's annoying to watch. The recent DG resignation was partly/largely a consequence of a grilling he got on The Today Programme (on BBC radio 4 if you're not keeping up).

          Can't imagine Sky or Fox, etc. behaving similarly: just how self-critical was the Murdoch controlled press of itself when reporting phone-hacking.

  2. zb

    All programs?

    So what about the news and phone-ins and live voting?

    I guess they mean many/most programmes

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All programs?

      News - is 24 hour anyway.

      As for Phone-ins and live voting....If it means an end to those types of programmes all the better.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: All programs?

        24 Hr repeats that is.

      2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: All programs?

        "News - is 24 hour anyway.

        "As for Phone-ins and live voting....If it means an end to those types of programmes all the better."

        Agreed - I'd be happy for the news to stop being an all-day "show" and go back to regular, but intermittent, reports too.

    2. GettinSadda
      Alert

      Re: All programs?

      >So what about the news and phone-ins and live voting?

      >I guess they mean many/most programmes

      Sod that... just watch the Lottery before it happens!

      Oh my God! I'm going to be RICH!!!

    3. cyborg
      Thumb Up

      Re: All programs?

      There are plenty of pre-recorded items on News 24 such as Click and Reporters which could fall under that category. A number of times these pre-recorded items do get bumped though for "breaking news" so I for one would be happy if they were available online at the point when they were ready for broadcast rather than at the point at which they were scheduled for broadcast.

  3. frank ly

    re. TV licence needs for iPlayer

    I'm sure the iPlayer first page used to have a statement that you needed a TV licence to watch it. Not anymore though (and I deleted cookies).

    1. Pondule

      Re: re. TV licence needs for iPlayer

      www.tvlicensing.co.uk/notv specifically states you don't need a licence to watch iPlayer except if it's being broadcast at the same time. If you fill the form in to say you don't need a licence then "I just watch iPlayer" is one of the check-boxes. Don't believe the bit on that page that says "we will cancel your payment scheme and update our records to show you no longer need a TV Licence" though, they took a year to cancel mine after I filled it in.

      1. Defiant

        Re: re. TV licence needs for iPlayer

        The BBC is pushing for an Internet Licence to replace the TV one and I suspect this is another push towards it

  4. mark 63 Silver badge
    WTF?

    wtf icon

    "The trial is aimed at broadband-connected Brits who only use iPlayer "

    yeah i still dont get it.

    Why?

    I'm not against the idea I'm just unclear what it will prove or who it would benefit.

    I'd be pretty please if they put the as yet unbroadcast last 2 episodes of Utopia up though.

    Although as its not bbc ....

    1. dotdavid

      Re: wtf icon

      I guess they're targeting people who aren't their customers (non licence fee payers), while simultaneously not understanding that they probably aren't customers because they don't want to pay a licence fee rather than because they can't get iPlayer programmes until after they've aired in the traditional manner.

    2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: wtf icon

      They may be gathering evidence so that they can ask government to extend the licence fee to iPlayer viewers. (And I willingly pay, so that's not paranoid speculation.)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: wtf icon

      Who would it benefit? Broadband-connected Brits who only use iPlayer. Aunty is not a commercial organisation, so serving a [currently] niche market sector is not a problem for them, and it has a public service mandate to push the development of new technology and methods in the production and broadcast industries. This ticks all the right boxes for the corporation, and if it's successful bodes very well for the future of IPTV, which is almost certainly going to be good for everyone.

      1. mark 63 Silver badge

        Re: wtf icon

        "Broadband-connected Brits who only use iPlayer"

        The ones who dont pay the TV tax then?

        the above speculation that its a move to make tv license law extend to broadband may be correct

  5. censored

    iPlayer

    Easily one of the world's greatest internet and entertainment accomplishments. The BBC should be given a standing ovation for it's creation.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: iPlayer

      The BBC should be given a standing ovation for it's creation.

      Certainly. Once they remove the dependency on Adobe (Air), that is.

      1. a33a
        Stop

        Re: iPlayer

        "Certainly. Once they remove the dependency on Adobe (Air), that is... "

        Careful what you wish for. We could end up with Silverlight. Then you can wish goodbye to iPlayer on a variety of screens.

        Alas though, something similar to the Netflix implementation on Android would suffice.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Re: iPlayer

      Hmm I think any company given a health dose of public financing each year could create the same.

      The licence fee should be optional - if you want to watch it then pay for it, just like sky, virgin, netflix etc.

  6. Jim 59

    Broadcast

    Sometimes I wonder why is the Beeb is so enamoured with all things t'internet. What is so wrong about just broadcasting stuff over the air ?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Broadcast

      It's wasteful to use up all those megahertz sending pointless "celebrity diy house price on the attic" programmes to millions of TVs that are turned off.

      Somebody is going to sell the frequencies for $$$$ so they can be used efficently for sending "OMG some celeb just said LOL" tweets to millions of phones.

      1. Tom 35 Silver badge

        Re: Broadcast

        Somebody is going to sell the frequencies for $$$$ so they can be used efficently for sending "OMG some celeb just said LOL" tweets to millions of phones.

        Or they can sell you a monthly subscription to watch TV on your phone...

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. daveeff
        FAIL

        Re: Broadcast

        > It's wasteful to use up all those megahertz

        More than sending all the data a 30,000,000 times to individual viewers?

        If only we could invent some kind of caching that sent the data people want at the same time, or organise things so people watched things at the same time...

        What would save bandwidth would be caching the programs locally so people watched the SAME episode of Top Gear, Q of Sport, Emerdale, Football, ... every week. Would anyone notice? We could add a new bit of low bandwidth dialogue once in a while.

        I'm sure they do this with golf already, do you think those shots of "ball in sky" are different every shot?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Must be about time all TV became on-demand via the Internet

    As an ex-pat, I would also welcome being able to pay for BBC iPlayer and stream directly, instead of lining the pockets of VPN companies so I get to watch programmes on the service.

    Broadcast TV and the "licence for a device with a tuner capable of receiving a television signal" concepts must have had their time already...

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Must be about time all TV became on-demand via the Internet

      Eventually the tv-licence fee is going to go away - along with broadcast TV

      Everything will be on iPlayer or iTunes as pay-per-view

      Then we will miss the days of $200 all you can eat viewing when we have to pay 99c for each episode of ISIHAC

    2. Paul Shirley

      Re: Must be about time all TV became on-demand via the Internet

      Thanks to the evil of georestriction ex-pats really shouldn't be so keen on streaming. Every time I try to find a working stream for Irish rugby to watch here in England I'm reminded how good they've got at stopping viewing from abroad ;(

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Unhappy

        Re: how good they've got at stopping viewing from abroad

        And there I was, just about to pay a whole year in advance for a VPN...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: how good they've got at stopping viewing from abroad

          Run your own VPN through a cloud/virtual system provider. It will just show up as your IP address, not one shared by hundreds of people which is probaly what triggers the suspiciometer. You can rent virtual hosts for £15/month these days

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: how good they've got at stopping viewing from abroad

            I set up a VPN to my Dad's house. He can watch the Live TV stream, but I can't. He has plenty of upload bandwidth (I can watch other streams over the VPN), so that's not the problem, and it's not an IP address restriction, because we've both got the same IP address when I'm connected to the VPN, but no 6 Nations for me :-(

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: how good they've got at stopping viewing from abroad

              > we've both got the same IP address when I'm connected to the VPN

              Does everything you send go through the VPN? If your local network stil uses local DNS servers then you may be asking for the wrong server IP address, even if the traffic to/from that server is routing through the VPN. As an example, cdn.sky.com maps to an Akamai server, but not the same server in each country. Make sure your streaming device's DNS queries go via the VPN as well... If you can configure your network so that all traffic to/from the streaming device has to go via the VPN it may work. Source routing & iptables is your friend...

    3. Defiant

      Re: Must be about time all TV became on-demand via the Internet

      The Socialist fascists aren't going to give it up easily, only a small minority would fund the BBC voluntary and they know it

  8. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tories are bad. Labour are good.

      Used to be true. Since Blair they are so close that it's hard to tell the difference, so bias is, really, pretty difficult.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tories are bad. Labour are good - not quite.

        Blair they are so close that it's hard to tell the difference

        Not really. New Labour is basically Labour with any shred of decency and ethics removed - I've watched them operate from up close and it wasn't pretty. Now I cannot talk about that, but just ask yourself how they got from a budget surplus to the largest gaping hole of a deficit when they were finally removed from office, and that was AFTER selling all the gold and raiding the pension funds to a point where people now have to work longer - and found it funny rather than deplorable to leave a note that basically said "we spent it all" for their successors.

        The only politician who was possibly worse was Ken Livingston - a member of the same club, but so focused on his own pet projects that it even got too much for his fellow goons at No 10. I've seen him at work in West London where one of his scams would have resulted in the total destruction of an area including thousands of mature trees. The whole money making scam was so badly thought out that it pretty much derailed when people started asking where emergency vehicles would go - it had not been considered..

        If you want any hint of just how much these guys took from the tax payer, just have a look how badly a certain Mr Tony Blair is doing these days. We paid for that.

        End of political opinion..

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But... But... The Tories...

          The Tories, deep down, are just plain evil.

          How ever much they pretend to change, as soon as you elect them they start doing stuff like eating babies that have been born in NHS hospitals. They can't help it. And when they've eaten all the babies, they sell the hospital.

    3. graeme leggett

      Re: Endless repeats of Pro-Labour Communist propaganda

      you need something to counterbalance the Daily Mail, and the Express...and the Sun

  9. Andrew Jones 2

    Interesting that this seems to coincide with the Trust's reviews of the BBC channels.

    Now bearing in mind that it's long been talked about that the BBC has too many channels and needs to axe some - I wonder if this is the start of the BBC looking at creating "online" only channels.

    1. Fibbles

      Axe BBC3 and move the few interesting programmes back to BBC2. Make News 24 audio only between midnight and 6am. Stop buying the rights to the horse racing, anybody who's interested goes down the bookies.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        @Fibbles

        "Axe BBC3 and move the few interesting programmes back to BBC2. Make News 24 audio only between midnight and 6am. Stop buying the rights to the horse racing, anybody who's interested goes down the bookies."

        Now, please tell me what programmes you are interested in, so I can make an excuse to get rid of those too

      2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        er? horse Racing on the BBC?

        Not any more it aint.... All gone to C4 along with Claire Balding.

        1. Fibbles

          Re: er? horse Racing on the BBC?

          @Steve: Hah, shows how little TV I watch these days.

          @Jamie: My point was not that the BBC should cancel programmes on BBC3 that I don't like. I was pointing out that they have so little programming for their multiple channels that they have to show a lot of repeats. You could make room for Family Guy, Russel Howard and the rest on BBC2 simply by scrapping these. If people desperately want to see repeats there is always the iPlayer.

          1. cyborg
            FAIL

            Re: er? horse Racing on the BBC?

            Family Guy is not on iPlayer presumably because Fox would not provide streaming rights.

  10. Ken Darling

    I want to get rid of my television. When it's on, it's usually just playing DVDs or recorded programs on the PVR.

    I don't have SKY or Virgin, just bog standard Freeview, and the programs that are worth watching can be counted on one hand. And even those are recorded as they are broadcast at inconvenient times. Sometimes the PVR forgets to record, so then we use iPlayer.

    So, hardly any as-it's-broadcast programmes.

    Just writing this has persuaded me. Goodbye television!

    1. CaptainHook

      recorded programs on the PVR.

      If your recording programs to watch later, you still need the licence.

  11. john loader

    shame iplayer is so rubbish on android. Seems daft that I can view live news 24 but not yesterdays news as iplayer is not a good android app.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      at least you have it on Android, can't even get it on Winphone, although you can watch BBC channels with TVCatchup on winphones. Time the BBC started to support other vendors apart from Apple properly, they seem to be VERY Apple bias mind you the clue is in the name "iPlayer"

      1. Fibbles

        I wouldn't count on it happening any time soon. They've only recently forced Rory Cellan-Jones to feature a slightly more diverse range of stories on his Apple technology blog.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Considering another Register story showing Android with a significantly bigger share of the mobile market than iOS, it does seem odd that so many "apps" are iOS first or only and Android comes a poor second if it's even considered.

  12. jason 7 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Damn you Microsoft! Die Dieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!

    ...oh...hang on, wrong topic, got carried away there!

    I do apologise. As you were.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      Re: Damn you Microsoft! Die Dieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!

      No apologies needed. A perfectly natural reaction.

      However, if you find yourself screaming this in the street, or in the middle of a conversation about, say, sport, then you just might benefit from a chat with a professional.

      But, while you have it under control... As you were.

  13. stucs201
    Thumb Down

    So with my duff connection speed...

    ...I have a choice between blocky, pausey, tiny-vision when its first available, or risking spoilers by waiting for a more watchable broadcast.

    Its bad enough when the HD broadcast is a week after the SD one, instead of simultaneous.

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: So with my duff connection speed...

      It's usually bloody awful on my good 20mbit connection. Freeview quality varies between passably good and atrocious. iPlayer dreams of passably good, with resolutions guaranteed to cause blurring.

      1. Shades

        Re: So with my duff connection speed...

        "good 20mbit connection"

        Your connection isn't as good as you think it is then, or your ISP is doing a bit of jiggery-pokery with the streams. I watched My Polar Bear Family and Me in HD a few weeks ago (on the BBC live replay thingy, the program had already started when I remembered it was on) and the quality was pretty damned good. This is with VM on a 10Mb connection.

  14. JB
    Happy

    Repeat?

    Don't you mean "another chance to see..."?

  15. Arachnoid
    Holmes

    Online content charges

    So how long do you thing before BBC and ITV/C4 et al actively charge for accessing their content?

  16. The Axe
    Flame

    State competing against private business - not right

    So the BBC are using the power, force, and control of the state (cause they pretty much a part of the state/government) to setup a business in competition with other companies such as NetFlix. Not quite a fair battle.

    It's not fair that the BBC can use the power given to it by the state to extract money from its customers even if they don't watch any of its output. Now it can use the power to muscle its way into other businesses.

    Scrap the license fee. Make the BBC the same as any other private broadcaster.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: State competing against private business - not right

      Ah, yes, the EVIL BBC (budget: £5bn):, dominating the entire broadcast market. Those poor little independent guys at Netflix (revenue: $3Bn) and News Corp (Revenue: $33bn, BSkyB revenue: £6.8bn) must be quaking in their boots at the rampant statism.

      Get in the real world. The BBC's budget is smaller than Sky's revenue, and Netflix are in the same ballpark without any of the costs of commissioning programs (new, notable projects aside, of course) or running a broadcast network.

      The BBC pushing IPTV is a good thing. They are partially insulated from market forces and they're doing exactly what they're supposed to: developing new and cutting edge technologies, bringing them to the market in a state of maturity, with massive cross-benefits for all involved. Do you really think Netflix are that bothered that the BBC are using their clout to push the television market away from broadcast over the air and towards IP? Are they fuck, they're dancing round the room dreaming of their piles of money.

      1. MrZoolook
        FAIL

        Re: State competing against private business - not right

        AC @ 04:19

        All true, but you forget subscribers to Sky, Netflix, etc... pay for the service. People who have a TV, even those who actively avoid using the BBC service, pay for the BBC service. So yeah, the paid for services ARE at a disadvantage,\ in that they need to provide a GOOD service, but the BBC get an unlimited revenue for running endless re-runs of crap.

        But yeah, other then that, you make sense!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They've been moving towards this for a while. The beeb toyed with allowing viewers to "binge" on their more high brow drama imports a couple of years ago, as NetFlix are doing now with House of Cards. They found almost as many people were watching Mad Men in 2-3 episode batches off iPlayer as were watching it on broadcast, and it wouldn't surprise me if the same were true of Borgen and The Killing. Sky paying well over the odds for the Mad Men rights killed off that plan, though. It also killed off Mad Men's viewership, which is a bit of a pity.

  18. Mike Flugennock
    Meh

    Cable networks in the States have 'em beat

    Over here in the Colonies, pretty much everything is a repeat. If you find yourself in the States sometime, check out how many network promos end with "on an all-new (insert name of program here)" in order to let viewers know that they've actually produced a new episode of something, instead of the same episode they've been running every six hours for the past month.

  19. inopsology
    Meh

    Quality

    As long as it supports 1080p with 5.1 sound- then no problem.

    i suspect it'll be some heavily re-compressed 720p stereo offering sold as HD.

  20. Steven Jones

    Terrestrial TV doomed

    The days of terrestrial broadcast TV are numbered. Once 90% of the population can get their TV through broadband, then Ofcom will no doubt want to flog off the entire TV spectrum. The proportion that either can't get broadband at the right speed, or don't care to pay for it can be serviced through freesat.

    Only radio will survive as a terrestrial broadcast service.

  21. MrXavia
    Thumb Up

    Great idea, as a license payer, I am very happy with the Beebs content, and getting it first online would be very cool, having more access to their back catalogue would be even better!

  22. Jim 59
    Joke

    Best of all

    It would be great if the Beeb could just offer us a high quality "digest" of its programmes, on a regular basis. Then we could see our favourites without hunting, recording, surfing and so on. This high quality digest, call it a "channel" if you will, could be broadcast over the air, thus easily received everywhere, and-

  23. Sirius Lee

    YouView tail wagging the BBC dog?

    A beneficiary of the arrangement described in the article seems to be YouView. YouViewers will be able to record on-line content that will not be available to vendors supporting terrestrial broadcasts until later. What are the relevant commercial arrangements? Do other channels such as Virgin Media also get access to the content ahead of the terrestrial broadcast?

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