back to article BBC surrenders 'linear' exclusivity to compete with binge-watch Netflix

The BBC is abandoning linear exclusivity as it goes for broke to make the iPlayer a global Netflix rival. The corporation says it will throw entire series on to the on-demand streaming service before the first episode in a series is even broadcast on terrestrial TV. Director-General Tony Hall will call for the BBC to "reinvent …

  1. Ol'Peculier

    Interesting to see exactly what they put on. I can't see Doctor Who being dumped on it in one go, but series such as The Night Manager will be. That suits me, I like watching a couple of episodes a night of a series with a single storyline, as I suspect do many.

    1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      The irony there is that Dr Who is on Netflix, and currently I'm binge watching the original BBC series 'Jonathan Creek' , after this year's Xmas special reminded me about it.

      Will the Beeb withdraw this content from Netflix, and make it all available on the iPlayer? Having the entire Beeb back catalogue available would be pretty good (I'd love to have a walk down memory lane and catch an 80s episodes of 'Tomorrow's World : -) ) . All4 has a pretty good back catalogue, shame the unified streaming service got quashed, paying into one pot, and having that revenue divided amongst the content providers would be a great service.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "shame the unified streaming service got quashed, paying into one pot, and having that revenue divided amongst the content providers would be a great service."

        Yes, it was rather odd. It was effectively doing for streaming what the broadcast network does for terrestrial broadcasters. Of course it might have impinged on those broadcasters who don't use the terrestrial broadcast network such as Sky and VM. But surely competition is good? All the big near monopoly companies say so.

        1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

          I used to work for ntl: (before they adopted the Virgin Media brand name) and was surprised they never created or commissioned their own content. I guess I thought them offering a Netflix like service was a no-brainer. Although they did nearly go bust when I worked for them so I guess they had bigger things to worry about. I guess the competition thing is a bit muddy, VM distribute BT Sport, Sky and terrestrial content, Sky offer their own content, and terrestrial, I guess if the content creator gets paid for the stream, VM have the most to lose as they don't create content, but they are an ISP, so could might sell more broadband connections on the back of the service.

          1. Ol'Peculier

            VM are owned by Liberty Media, who are just about to finish the purchase of Formula 1. Be interesting to see where that goes...

  2. Dwarf Silver badge

    End of the TV Licence

    If they are publishing to the world, then the only possible outcome is to dump the UK only TV Licence.

    1. DailyLlama

      Re: End of the TV Licence

      Not really, they'll just charge people outside the UK to use the iPlayer.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        Re: End of the TV Licence

        Personally I'd just like to be able to access the content that my license fee helps to support when I'm travelling on business in Europe (and beyond) without having to VPN back to my home network or remember to download it in advance and fill up my devices already scarce and stuffed storage.

        1. Ol'Peculier

          Re: End of the TV Licence

          Equally, I'd like to see the UK version of the BBC website when travelling.

          1. theModge

            Re: End of the TV Licence

            Equally, I'd like to see the UK version of the BBC website when travelling.

            Likewise, I very much miss it when abroad.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: End of the TV Licence

              It is available on IPTV streaming

              1. Mage Silver badge

                Re: End of the TV Licence

                I'd bet that Netflix realises linear broadcast is complementary and MUCH cheaper to deliver to 10M viewers at the same time in the same country. They will open cable & satellite Pay TV channels as well as VOD.

                Also doesn't the Beeb need to actually stop outsourcing, build quality in house production teams & writers to have good content? Like they used to have when they were x10 better than USA garbage. Funny Netflix, Sky, Amazon etc are growing their own production teams and facilities?

                Also c4 did great films, programs and commisioned animation and then decided Reality TV was a thing (which was simply voyeurism and cheap production and exploitation), shuttered all their production.

                UK TV is now piss poor compared to 1970s.

                What exactly other than ancient shows are they going to put on iPlayer?

                1. Credas Silver badge

                  Re: End of the TV Licence

                  Also doesn't the Beeb need to actually stop outsourcing, build quality in house production teams & writers to have good content? Like they used to have when they were x10 better than USA garbage. Funny Netflix, Sky, Amazon etc are growing their own production teams and facilities?

                  Well, yes, but they were forced by the government to do precisely what they have done, because the poor little independent production companies were effectively shut out of bidding for BBC work. Very few people seem to notice how many of the BBC's major programmes now end with a "Produced by xxxx" tag, right up until there's a GBBO/C4 moment affecting their favourite programme.

                2. Jon Jones 73

                  Re: End of the TV Licence

                  "Also doesn't the Beeb need to actually stop outsourcing, build quality in house production teams & writers to have good content?"

                  I'm sure they would like to but the government put a stop to that.

            2. MOV r0,r0

              Re: End of the TV Licence

              Just take a few old copies of The Guardian with you

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: End of the TV Licence

            I'd just like less videos on the BBC news site and more actual bloody articles.

            Its become unreadable.

            1. boltar Silver badge

              Re: End of the TV Licence

              "I'd just like less videos on the BBC news site and more actual bloody articles."

              A bit more consistency in which story gets a "Your say" comments section would be good too. At the moment it seems to be done at the whim of whoevers in charge on a given day. Sometimes proper stories get a comments section, sometimes its only trivia. Today its Obamas speech (not UK news but yeah, ok) and Robbie WIlliams ticket sales?? WTF?? This is the BBC News site, not CBBC! Meanwhile UK trade deficit and NHS crisis stories - nope, Auntie won't let you comment on those topics.

              1. LionelB

                Re: End of the TV Licence

                "A bit more consistency in which story gets a "Your say" comments section would be good too."

                I'll second that... then again, the comments section seems to be swamped by illiterate alt-right trolls these days, to the extent that it's completely pointless.

                1. Glenturret Single Malt

                  Re: End of the TV Licence

                  At least you can now arrange the comments from oldest first.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: End of the TV Licence

                "Robbie WIlliams ticket sales?? WTF?? This is the BBC News site, not CBBC!"

                Don't want to make you feel old, but most kids watching CBBC would say "Who's Robbie Williams?", after all Take Thats first big hit was close on 25 years ago.

              3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: End of the TV Licence

                "Meanwhile UK trade deficit and NHS crisis stories - nope, Auntie won't let you comment on those topics."

                ISTM that they only ever open comments on innocuous and non-contentious stories because they can't afford the moderators to keep things "nice". Every now and then it turns into a Daily Fail rant-fest and large numbers of posts get withdrawn and accounts blocked.

                1. Mage Silver badge

                  Re: Comments

                  Also they have massive web site, comments etc and yet promote Twitter and Facebook. Idiots.

            2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

              Re: End of the TV Licence

              I'd just like less videos on the BBC news site and more actual bloody articles.

              I haven't visited the BBC news site for a couple of years but do find their News App for hones suits me. That seems to have a good mix of articles which appear to get cached when using WiFi at home and are therefore available when I am out without a data connection.

              I don't mind paying the licence fee which is only 40p a day. Others may be half the price of that but don't, for me, deliver half as much. I am however aggrieved at their withdrawing their free Radio Times XMLTV listings service and having to resort to web page scraping.

              1. Matt Ryan

                Re: End of the TV Licence

                It's only 40p/day for you because others are extorted for the licence fee. Would you feel so happy about paying £4/day if only 1 in 10 took out a subscription?

                1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                  Re: End of the TV Licence

                  "It's only 40p/day for you because others are extorted for the licence fee. Would you feel so happy about paying £4/day if only 1 in 10 took out a subscription?"

                  I'm pretty ambivalent about the BBC licence fee but I wonder how many people would suddenly realise that they do use the BBC more than they thought if the entire BBC went voluntary subscription only. All those people who "never" watch BBC suddenly realise they do use the website, they do listen to BBC radio, they do use iPlayer etc. and they do watch BBC news.

                  Maybe it turns out many of these people really do deliberately avoid the BBC, but I bet most don't.

                  Just for balance, I'm not happy with the BBC either. Many comments above re the news website I agree with, far too much shitty "daytime" TV, far too many reality shows, far too many daily soaps etc.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: End of the TV Licence

                I haven't visited the BBC news site for a couple of years but do find their News App for hones suits me. That seems to have a good mix of articles which appear to get cached when using WiFi at home and are therefore available when I am out without a data connection.

                I find their app to be a classic case of style over substance*. It's very graphics-heavy, very trendy and "swipey", and as a result even after you've dug into the menu to enable "compact layout", you can only fit six headlines on the screen at one time. I'm sure the highly paid designers who came up with it are very pleased with themselves, and think my license fee money was well spent on their bloated fees, but frankly a simple list of headlines would be far superior if your goal is actually to facilitate access to the information.

                *To be fair, ranting aside, the functionality is actually pretty good, design issues aside.

            3. Simon Harris Silver badge

              Re: End of the TV Licence

              I'd just like less videos on the BBC news site and more actual bloody articles.

              I don't mind the videos being there, but when the only way you can see the story is by watching the video it's a pain - they could at least provide a transcript for bandwidth restricted situations or in places where you need silence. The two line summary is not usually sufficent.

            4. ZillaOfManilla

              Re: End of the TV Licence

              Do you mean less videos that are just text scrolling up on screen over a silent or not dubbed video? They have started to become more apparent on the local news pages. Very cheap looking and makes me go to the local rags for the news rather than BBC.

            5. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: End of the TV Licence

              "I'd just like less videos on the BBC news site and more actual bloody articles."

              At least with the license fee you don't get the constant "while you're here why not give us some money" begging sections that you get constantly on the Guardian website ... personally I think they would be more accurate saying "while you're here why are you still paying for a paper copy at the weekend to see this article again"

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: End of the TV Licence

        >Not really, they'll just charge people outside the UK to use the iPlayer.

        How? Many, many millions from outside the UK already watch for a few dollars a month [the BBC decline FOI on commercial grounds but have reliable figures] - several dozen smart dns/vpn re-streaming services actively market abroad using iPlayer support as number one feature. Unless the subscription is a lot less than the license fee and more in line with smart dns etc it's a doomed idea.

    2. theModge

      Re: End of the TV Licence

      I personally don't foresee* either the BBC publishing to the world or the end of the TV license fee. Why?

      Because state funded TV channels look, as they so often are, corrupt. Maintaining the hypothecated tax just for the BBC prevents the government threatening them quite so directly, much as they still manage to do so every time the license fee is up for negotiation. I'm not sure the government would choose to look so openly totalitarian when it can still exert a fair bit of control and seem independent. As to publishing to the world: BBC world has been selling UK content abroad for years and I'm sure they'll continue to do so.

      *I told all my friends Brexit wouldn't happen and Trump wouldn't get in, so take this with a pinch of salt.

      1. pxd

        Re: End of the TV Licence

        theModge: as an American that has now lived in the UK for +30 years, I have to object to your description of the BBC as corrupt. On the contrary, I suggest that the BBC is by a considerable margin the news distribution organ the most free of commercial or political bias and/or influence in the world. If you have significant experience of a challenger for that title, I'd like to hear more about it. Certainly (almost) no media output in the US is remotely free of bias, or free of the commercial influence of the advertisers that fund it. (The only possible exception is NPR (www.npr.org).) I deeply admire the BBC technique for remaining unbiased (make sure to irritate the left and the right in equal measure), and I cannot see any way other than the licence fund to eliminate the commercial influence that dominates other media outlets. pxd

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: End of the TV Licence

          "as an American that has now lived in the UK for +30 years, I have to object to your description of the BBC as corrupt."

          Thank you for the "outsider" perspective. (only another 20 years and you might be accepted LOL)

          Sometimes people here forget what we have because they forget to compare with what else is available in other countries. Having watched a few streaming channels fro around the world, I'm glad we still have a non-commercial BBC.

          They have their problems, and they are doing some stuff in chasing ratings that I'd really rather they didn't, but anything has to be better than the worst of US commercial channels where a one hour show has, at most 35 minutes of content. Intro - adverts - titles - adverts - show - adverts - show - adverts - conclusion - adverts - title sequence. If that's not horrifying enough, they even run banner ads if the the show itself in some cases, nearly 1/4 screen in height after the many ad breaks.

    3. g e

      Re: End of the TV Licence

      That thing which is 2x the cost of a Netflix/Amazon subscription? Oh yeah. Please dump that crap.

      1. TheDillinquent
        Pint

        Re: End of the TV Licence

        Actually 40p a day is good value as it stops UK TV degenerating into the into the unwatchable unholy shitmess that passes for FTV TV in most of the rest of the world. And there are no ads.

        No wonder The Evil Aussie does everything he can to undermine the Beeb.

        Auntie may not be perfect but she's OUR Auntie.

  3. TheProf
    Angel

    Great!

    I'd like to see all the episodes of The Ten O'Clock News put on-line a week before they're broadcast. I bet Netflix can't do that.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Great!

      Sod that, I want next week's lottery numbers...

      1. WonkoTheSane

        Re: Great!

        Maybe requests like that are why the lottery draws are now not on TV, but livestreamed on the interweb instead?

        1. boltar Silver badge

          Re: Great!

          "Maybe requests like that are why the lottery draws are now not on TV, but livestreamed on the interweb instead?"

          Or maybe once the novelty wore off people realised watching a load of rubber balls being spat out of a drum doesn't make for very interesting viewing and figures plumetted.

          1. Mike Shepherd
            Happy

            Re: Great!

            "...people realised watching a load of rubber balls being spat out of a drum doesn't make for very interesting viewing..."

            I hope you realise that Mystic Meg is going to cry herself to sleep tonight.

          2. Simon Harris Silver badge

            Re: Great!

            "people realised watching a load of rubber balls being spat out of a drum doesn't make for very interesting viewing"

            I am sure the BBC could find some Thai 'performance artists' who could provide a more interesting way of releasing the lottery balls.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Great!

        stealing a joke from Mock the Week's version of Points of View - "Dear Sky Sports minus one, thank you very much for your grand national coverage, i won a load of cash"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Re: Great!

      I am sure MI5 can oblige

    3. PeteA

      Re: Great!

      Well, they already broadcast the day's new in the morning now: "Mrs. Bah Humbug will make a speech today in which she will ...". So it shouldn't be that hard then.

  4. m0rt Silver badge

    Why does the BBC *NEED* to compete against Netflix and Amazon? There is no basis for it. They are not *cough* a commercial company, therefore they shouldn't be competing. They should stick to the BBCs original remit. Cut out a lot of dross, and keep everything smaller but with the greatest quality. Same goes for the online churnalism that passes for the News website.

    I used to admire the BBC. It was something that I was glad existed. I respected it. This started to change around 2005/6 for me.

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      And if they want to compete it should be as a commercial company not by digging into the pockets of the public.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Thanks for your input Rupert.

    3. Pinkerton
      Unhappy

      Why does the BBC *NEED* to compete against Netflix and Amazon?

      The BBC needs to compete because whilst it is *currently* not a commercial company and *currently* can survive on the licence fee, these things are in no way certainties. Successive governments have frozen the licence fee and threatened to neuter the Beeb unless they play the game.

      There is a growing public opinion (some of it expressed here) that the BBC should be cut free and left to fend for itself without the licence fee/tax. When that day comes, they BBC *will* need to compete against Netflix and Amazon.

      All they're doing is preparing for the inevitable. Sounds like a very good plan to me.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Why does the BBC *NEED* to compete against Netflix and Amazon?

        "The BBC needs to compete because whilst it is *currently* not a commercial company and *currently* can survive on the licence fee, these things are in no way certainties. Successive governments have frozen the licence fee and threatened to neuter the Beeb unless they play the game."

        That's not a "need". That's a "want".

        BBC is not ACTUALLY needed at all. Nice to have, yes. Needed? No.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why does the BBC *NEED* to compete against Netflix and Amazon?

        "There is a growing public opinion (some of it expressed here) that the BBC should be cut free and left to fend for itself without the licence fee/tax."

        Growing in loudness only, the numbers are still much the same. The internet applies a magnifying equaliser so that the twitter and suchlikebook make things look more important than they really are.

        I dislike a lot of the crap the BBC comes out with but we need it as protection from ourselves because we will all just go for the cheapest nastiest bundle of commercial shite available after its demise and Idiocracy will be truly under way.

    4. phuzz Silver badge

      BBC Worldwide is very much a commercial company.

      They also own half of the UKTV channels (ie UKTV Gold, Dave etc), and, well, lots of other things.

      This is the part of the BBC that wants to compete with Netflix et al, because outside of the UK they are direct competitors.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        i worked at Worldwide for nearly two years, and when i was there (admittedly over ten years ago) it was nothing like a commercial company. People were promoted based on how long they'd been there, if they were in the right union, not because of abilities; management decisions were taken on the basis of ensuring Worldwide revenues/activities could not be criticised by the print media or politicians, not what was in the interests of the company. Etc. etc. etc.

      2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        "BBC Worldwide is very much a commercial company.

        They also own half of the UKTV channels (ie UKTV Gold, Dave etc), and, well, lots of other things."

        Fine. They certainly do not need my licence money.

        I will instruct my wife to finally stop paying, as she always insist on doing.

        1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          You can stop thumbing me down, as my wife never listens to my "instructions" anyway!

    5. Wiltshire

      Why does the BBC *NEED* to compete against Netflix and Amazon?

      Because, outside the UK walled garden, the BBC *is* a commercial company

      i.e. the rest of the world.

    6. MOV r0,r0

      And yet it's been competing, wrongly, with ITV since 1955 and you hadn't noticed?

      The rot set in at the BBC a very long time ago.

    7. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Yes, I am an ex-BBCer

      I used to watch it and check its news constantly. Then it became more bitty, popular-culture, sound-bite and video friendly with less or hard to access in-depth stuff. It's been a long, withdrawing sea of quality, and one day I thought 'I'm done'. My favorite BBC radio channel is increasingly dumbed-down, and I now go online for Klara Kontinuo or similar radio stations. I suppose they can only convince their paymasters by showing they have oodles of viewers and that they are addressing all audiences from the zoned-out teen on up, but listening to Radio 3 celebrating 70 years and hearing what was on offer 30 or 40 years ago and what's on now, I could do nothing but sigh.

      1. John Arthur

        Re: Yes, I am an ex-BBCer

        Could not agree more. And if the 70 years bit was not enough we have been treated to non-stop Schoenberg for a week now on R3.

        Have an upvote for letting me know about Klara Kontinuo which I am listening to now as I pen this...

    8. e^iπ+1=0

      "I used to admire the BBC. It was something that I was glad existed. I respected it. This started to change around 2005/6 for me."

      Really?

      I think 70s - 80s is more realistic. Did Jim fix it?

  5. Tony Paulazzo

    BBC £12 a month (license fee)

    Netflix £6 a month

    They still lose, and if they sell their service cheaper to the rest of the world they stand to lose even more British viewers.

    1. Ol'Peculier

      BBC:

      All the channels, including several for the little ones & News 24

      Radio, national, and regional

      World Service & international rolling news TV channel

      One of the best UK websites available

      iPlayer

      Netflix:

      Erm... TV & films.

      1. graeme leggett Silver badge

        "TV and Films"

        some of which are BBC produced TV from years ago.

    2. HmmmYes Silver badge

      Sadly Netflix gets my money.

      I just dont watch enough BBC telly to make the license fee worth my while.

      I watch more Ch5 than all the BBC channels.

      The kids watch youtube or play on computers.

      The only people I know who watch much BBC are my parents. They get a free TV license.

      The BBC really has to put its finger out and decide what its going to do.

      Id guess its only got around 5 years left.

      1. The First Dave

        If you are watching Ch.5 the you are a moron, and in any case technically still need to pay the licence fee.

        1. HmmmYes Silver badge

          I could be watching Ch5 on demand!

          The fact is Im starting to watch less + less telly.

          If you up the quality of the stuff you watch then you tend not to bother the crap stuff.

          Sadly, I still am paying the license. More habit than anything else.

          If the aerial fell off my house then Id not replace and change to all online.

        2. HmmmYes Silver badge

          I should add that Ch5 screened Gotham. Thats the only boardcast dframa Ive watchedo nterristial telly.

          Its great. I make the BBC look like Pravda.

      2. Jess

        Re: Netflix gets my money

        And my household's too.

        No TV licence. No iPlayer app installed. No Live streaming.

        Netflix, ITVPlayer, 4oD (or whatever the current brand is, some very good stuff on there - Humans) My5 (There's usually one series worth following), plus flixster for UV.

  6. Known Hero

    If they want to do well

    Please for the love of god,

    A: Make your service accessible to as many devices as possible.

    B: Don't try to control what we watch

    C: Don't try to be too clever about it we don't need AI selections based off what my neighbours watch, if you really want that, that can all come later when the service is already working and making you money.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: If they want to do well

      Tell ITV that

      They are terrible

    2. ZillaOfManilla

      Re: If they want to do well

      "A: Make your service accessible to as many devices as possible"

      Whilst they are at it, please make it work on the devices you have already made it accessible on. I use TiVo and its a dog, programmes load but then start buffering and never catch up. I end up switchign to my wifi FireTV stick to watch iPlayer then stay there to watch whatever Amazon are throwing away for free.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The way things are going

    Well done BBC, this is the right move.

    Looking in next couple years there will not be much difference between BBC/Netflix & Amazon, they will each be producing their own content that will be only accessible on there platform.

    But what's going to happen to us, do we need to sign up to each platform to get access to what we want to watch?? ie House of Cards & Vikings being two examples.

    Going to get expensive quickly. (Not even factoring in Sky here)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The way things are going

      "But what's going to happen to us, do we need to sign up to each platform to get access to what we want to watch?"

      That's life for you. A bitch, innit?

    2. Floydian Slip
      Coat

      Re: The way things are going

      Ah but with #Brexit and wonderful trade deals we're going to become so much wealthier.

      Then AI kicks in and we'll all be paid a Universal Income by the Govt. and have so much free time to deal with that we'll need Amazon, Netflix, BBC, ITV *insert new players here* etc to stop us all going round-the-bend and killing ourselves.

  8. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    Going global

    make the iPlayer a global Netflix rival.

    I don't see how iPlayer could rival anything on a *global* level. Every time I've tried to access it from overseas I get a message saying "bah - your IP address is registered to Johnnie Foreigner - be off with you"...or words to that effect. (if I know I'm going to be going overseas, I try to remember to download some content at home before I go).

  9. davidak

    Pass the salt

    We were also told the entire archive was going online as part of the digital media initiative, but we didn't get that and instead got a £100,000,000 bill for the overall failure of the project. As such any claim related to iPlayer I will take with a pinch of salt.

  10. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Trollface

    "Enders Analysis"?

    Do they meet in the Queen Vic'?

  11. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Why?

    UK channels broadcast as well as stream, so they will probably never have as many catch-up/on demand users in the UK as a streaming-only service.

    People are still creatures of habit and have to fit TV around other things, most are probably not going to binge an entire series in a weekend as they probably won't have the time.

    Things like news or soaps that run all year like East-bloody-Enders can't be dumped onto iPlayer.

    Does this include Christmas specials? Will we be watching them in October?

    If you dump everything onto iPlayer, when do you take it off? Or is this a way of turning the BBC into a subscription service?

    Can I think of any more questions?

  12. IanCa

    make them ALL available AFTER broadcast as well - FOREVER

    they can make things so much more usable by catering for the exact opposite:

    example: a 10 part series the wife and I watch broadcast in spring-summer 2016. it was on series record on our youview box. for various reasons didn't watch it until recently, at which point noticed 2 episodes missing (youview box was powered off due to being on holiday). went to iplayer to try to watch them - expired, no longer on iplayer. so now in order to watch those episodes I will have to go somewhere dubious to get access to them. why should I need to do that... ?

    for in another example, there are numerous series that were on 10's of years ago before digital recorder boxes became commonplace (you name it, prize for the most amusing) that many of us might like to watch again. maybe we have them on VHS in the attic but the VCR long since died!

    the disk and network space clearly must exists in the big bad-ass BBC datacentre to make them available to me. (if it doesn't, I'll build it for them).

    this is the long tail of the distribution, watching the content months/years after original transmission that has very little impact on load but a massive impact on user experience / convenience factor.

    Iplayer should simply make available everything the BBC has broadcast, ever, forever.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: make them ALL available AFTER broadcast as well - FOREVER

      "Iplayer should simply make available everything the BBC has broadcast, ever, forever."

      At least with that plan they can see what people like and maybe produce stuff that people want to watch/listen to. I have given up the the tv tax, it wasnt worth paying the BBC so I can pay for sky for interesting shows. Now I just buy dvd's of anything that looks interesting and remove the adverts. It is really boring to watch normal TV any more as even the BBC puts on adverts between its shows to tell me of its shows. I dont care, I want to watch the show I put on.

      I hear they tried to remake old successful shows but it didnt sound like they were popular. Yet the originals are.

    2. graeme leggett Silver badge

      Re: make them ALL available AFTER broadcast as well - FOREVER

      "Iplayer should simply make available everything the BBC has broadcast, ever, forever"

      Presumes the BBC had the rights to do unlimited showings in the first place, and that rights didn't revert to writers, production companies etc.

      Also look up repeat fees and residuals as payments that might (they may have resolved the issue recently) have to be paid out for showings.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: make them ALL available AFTER broadcast as well - FOREVER

        The BBC TV "Timewatch" series had an interesting documentary several years ago called "Time Flies". It was a location reunion of some of the staff and actors for Peter Brooks's 1963 "Lord of the Flies" film some 40 years afterwards.

        AFAIK it has only been shown the once. New DVD releases of the 1963 film have apparently tried to licence the documentary as an "extra" with the support of its original makers - but the BBC price was too high. So presumably it just sits in the BBC archives.

        1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

          Re: make them ALL available AFTER broadcast as well - FOREVER

          It's probably not the BBC at all. A lot of the stations' current output, especially in documentary, is commissioned from independent production companies. Rights to these films revert to those production companies after a certain number of exhibitions or after a certain time has elapsed.

          This allows the Beeb to commission more programming, because each programme is cheaper to rent from a production company than to buy (make) itself.

          The downside is that sometimes the production company can sell the programme exclusively to another owner after the BBC's use of it expires, which makes it near-impossible for the BBC or anyone else to re-acquire it, despite the public thinking that because it's on the BBC, it was made by the BBC.

    3. strum Silver badge

      Re: make them ALL available AFTER broadcast as well - FOREVER

      >Iplayer should simply make available everything the BBC has broadcast, ever, forever.

      Nice idea - but much of the Beeb's production was paid for on the basis of a very limited number of broadcasts (and underpaid, on that basis). Having to renegotiate every contract on every episode of every title - that would cost a fortune.

  13. Credas Silver badge

    Well done Ofcom

    Brilliant idea forcing every little (globally speaking) local company to create their own streaming platform. Whoever came up with that one should be forced to watch the clunky low-res ITV Player for a few hours a day, followed by playing a few rounds of will-Channel 4's-player-actually-restart-the-programme-after-the-ad-break. Sky et all must have been pissing themselves.

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: Well done Ofcom

      I don't understand that. Surely all OFCOM needed to do was to mandate that the platform was open for any broadcaster to use?

      What next? Will OFCOM crack down on all the TV companies using the same RF transmission standards?

    2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: Well done Ofcom

      Ah, so it's not just me,... I had some funnies catching up on 'Humans', it sometimes hung at an advert break, or if I paused it, went to bed, and tried to resume it next day, it would restart at some point I'd already watched, not where I paused.

    3. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Well done Ofcom

      I cannot use ITV player at all, STV one worked until recently as long as you deleted a few web pag elements.

      Anyway BBC and C4 work on both consoles, shITV abandoned them. So anything the PVR fails to record gets missed or I torrent it. (For my wife BTW)

      Just remember this online TV providers, your system MUST be easier to use than a bittorrent client.

      I do not even bother checking the schedule with C5 as they do not want me as a viewer.

      I worked out 99% of my viewing is from the following

      BBC1 HD Freesat

      BBC4 HD Freesat

      BBC2 HD Freesat

      C4 SD Freesat

      Film 4 SD Freesat

      BBC News24 Freeview

      Oh and Amazon Prime via PS4

      BBC Iplayer is OK but the quality is a bit pants

  14. tiggity Silver badge

    A few iPlayer improvement suggestions

    Methods to increase iPlayer use.

    Off the top of my head....

    Stop using Flash (I should not have to make an effort to hack my useragent string just to prevent you trying to foist a top malware vector on me)

    Make it easier to search for content?

    Add far more classic back catalogue content (I may as well watch original 70s comedy than Mrs. Browns Boys which is just all the ancient gags in drag )

    Stop expiring content after a short time as I'm sick of "this content is no longer available" messages (TV watching is low on my list of priorities, more stuff I would like to watch than I actually get time to watch, so often hit by this "timeout" scenario when I finally try to catchup on stuff)

    Sort out a method for licence payers to use iPlayer overseas without jumping through VPN / proxying hoops.

    Implementing cross device bookmark functionality (this would also require some form of account, which could be tied to TV licence & get rid of all the dross do you have a licence questions & allow access from abroad) - it would be nice to resume "TV episode" playback on my phone on train commute in they morning from point I had reached on PC the night before

    1. viscount

      Re: A few iPlayer improvement suggestions

      "cross device bookmark functionality"

      It's already there when you login, and works very well.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A few iPlayer improvement suggestions

      "Off the top of my head...."

      Add to which - if a programme is shown on BBC terrestrial TV then it should also be available on the simultaneous iPlayer live stream.

      Several times over Xmas a film slot on the iPlayer live stream said "Sorry - you can only watch this programme on your TV".

      It wouldn't be a problem if I could get a decent signal on terrestrial TV since they switched off the analogue service.

  15. andy 103

    Content is king

    There's all these articles about TV services - Netflix, iPlayer, Prime etc, and they all seem to focus on the delivery of content... but never the content itself.

    Here's my issue with the BBC - they produce content which is, at best, mediocre.

    Netflix don't really produce anything, but they buy decent content. And they're winning with it, up to this point.

    A novel idea may be to get people together who have good ideas for shows/programmes, that are entertaining, and that people actually like. How do you know they like things which haven't yet been produced? Well, that's something else which the platform could seek to help out with.

    The point being, the technology and delivery are really a moot point, if the content is crap.

    It's like people going on about 4k TV's - totally useless unless you've got something good to put on that screen IMO.

    1. IanRS

      Re: Content is king

      A few years ago I replaced my TV with a fish tank. The content is now far more watchable.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Content is king

        "A few years ago I replaced my TV with a fish tank. The content is now far more watchable."

        Obligatory XKCD

    2. jason 7

      Re: Content is king

      Only thing we've enjoyed/watched BBC wise for the past 6 months has been Fleabag. That's just under 3 hours of TV for 6 months of License fee.

      When we settle down in the evening the Freeview box rarely gets switched on, its straight to the FireTV box to see what's on Netflix.

      1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: Content is king

        What's on Netflix? Like 'The IT Crowd', 'Dr Who', 'Peaky Blinders', 'The Office', the original 'House of Cards', 'Broadchurch', 'Call the Midwife', 'Sherlock', 'Luther', 'The Fall',....

        ... all produced by the BBC originally,......

        1. Soruk

          Re: Content is king

          The IT Crowd was Channel 4.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Content is king

      The content is certainly King with Netflix, by that I mean "The Crown", fabulous, a fair 'warts and all' portrail of the Royals, the long monologues over images were the best bits.

      Loved it, just the sheer exuberance of the sets. Breathtaking.

      Series like Netflix's "The Crown" are blurring the lines between the BBC and Netflix. You feel like you should be watching the BBC, when you are in fact watching a commercial channel.

      Now, the celebrity dross seems to be on the BBC, the self referencial back slapping self promotion on the BBC has become so annoying. The One Show (and it's presenting style) being the epitome / embodiment of such dross. To watch Paul Merton lower hiimself to this, is just so depressing.

      Graham Norton show is just one big advert/film flunk juncket, rarely are the guests not picked from the usual rabble of 50 Celebrities, its so predicable/boring 'safe'.

      So watching Netflix's "The Crown", takes me back to what I sort of expect the BBC to make, but sadly doesn't and seems incapable of producing such content now.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Content is king

        For every The Crown on Netflix there are loads of things which are worse that the now supposedly uniformly terrible BBC. And if it matters to you, children's TV on Netflix is just a wasteland too.

      2. strum Silver badge

        Re: Content is king

        >seems incapable of producing such content now.

        Wolf Hall, Happy Valley, Planet Earth II, Sherlock - yeah, really mediocre (and those are just the ones I remember, off the top of my head).

        Netflix would need to come up with a 'Crown' every week for 50 years to catch up with the BBC.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Content is king

          Aghhh

          I forgot Planet Earth 2

          BBR Bristol and David Attenborough

          Why other nature documentries fail in the UK

    4. Rob D. Bronze badge

      Re: Content is king

      Whether the content is mediocre or not is generally subjective. I appreciate the BBC news coverage (yes, warts and all) and series like Happy Valley or The Night Manager, but I also think Eastenders is grungy, maudlin crap, so popular opinion isn't going to answer that question satisfactorily.

      Content is king though - with respect to the BBC, the importance is perhaps less its subjective mediocrity, and more about the question of ownership.

      Whether the license fee goes up or down by a few percentage points over time or is replaced with some other direct funding (risking the problems highlighted elsewhere), it is now more lucrative for creative producers of good content to do so as independent companies and then sell it to the highest bidder, BBC or not.

      By gradual attrition, this will pull remaining or home-grown talent out of the BBC and in to the commercial world. Hence the need eventually for the BBC to compete more rather than less. I prefer some of the BBC differentiation to be possible because of the license-fee funding model, but would sadly concede that there is only one direction of travel.

    5. MOV r0,r0

      Re: Content is king

      To comprehend the BBC is it necessary to understand that it is a make-work scheme and pension fund for metropolitan liberal-consensus hot-housed Oxbridge thirds. The two-and-a-half telly channels and some radio is just a side-line.

      If we took the whole four thousand seven hundred million pounds the BBC gets annually and used it solely to commission content, we would truly have a world class pro-UK cultural resource.

      Virtual BBC FTW!

    6. Bert 1
      Unhappy

      Re: Content is king

      I signed up for Netflix over Christmas to watch films.

      I have trawled through the list of available films.

      There are ONLY half a dozen I will watch, two of which I have seen. I am still buying latest releases from Virgin :-( Oh, and FB Junior is working his way through The Clone Wars, saving about £60 on a box set.

      So it's not all bad, but on an ongoing basis I can't see any more films I want to watch. I might watch Westworld, and I will return for GoT, but maybe I am not the target market for it. I don't like American drama that never ends, but merely gets cancelled. Please give me a proper story with a proper end. Like 24. I enjoyed that.

      I have also just signed up to Amazon Prime, in order to watch the Grand Tour.

      I have again trawled through the films on there. Nothing. TV series: Lucifer, Constantine and Ripper Street (which I expect will be on BBC at some point). The next day prime delivery is useful, but it appears to not be available for a huge part of the stuff available, rendering it frustrating. I've tried the "no rush" delivery a couple of times, but can't work out how to spend the credit on anything I actually want.

      The delivery mechanism isn't great either. It took me an afternoon to figure out how to watch Amazon through any of the smart devices I could plug into the TV. The ones that didn't work: Samsung smart DVD; Virgin tivo box; Ubuntu laptop; Android phone chrome cast. I have had to plug in a Windows 7 laptop.

      It's not that it confuses me, it just that the lack of elegance annoys me.

      1. David Nash Silver badge

        Re: Content is king

        @Bert 1

        The best way to watch Amazon is throught the Amazon stick. They are pretty low cost and work very well in my experience. It's also the best way I've found to watch iPlayer, although there are sometimes problems with sound synchronisation with the video.

        Some of Amazon's original content is good, I'm going off TG, I mean GT though. Too much of a "performance".

        1. Bert 1

          Re: Content is king

          @ David Nash

          Thanks for your suggestion. I am rapidly coming to that conclusion - that it is the only way to watch it on a TV.

          I then start looking at the FireTV, so I can get a cable connection, and the price increases markedly.

          Plus it's yet another box, and I already have 4!.

          Plus it is definitely inelegant to have that number of boxes. :-(

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Content is king - Amazon Prime

        I found it VERY easy to use and set up.

        I trialed a few days before Grand Tour.

        Literally went down menu to Amazon placeholder, X it installed, I opened up, entered log in details, watched a free sample programme in HD, DD5.2 and NO LOGOS.

        Back to PC, paid Amazon £59, back to PS4, searched everything, following day watched Man In High Castle. Then just after it finished, oh look The Grand Tour was up.

        I did hold back on joining until TGT even though I have wanted to watch TMITHC for a while.

        It is easy to use.

        On Thursdays one minute I can be bashing Cabal with Gjallarhorns and the next be watching Clarkson Hammond and May.

        I am impressed with Amazon Prime and there is enough content for a programme a night.

        1. Jon Jones 73

          Re: Content is king - Amazon Prime

          Wow. It's supposed to be easy to use. Still doesn't work with Firefox though.

    7. Jon Jones 73

      Re: Content is king

      "Netflix don't really produce anything" Apart from the close to 200 original Netflix produced series (126 in 2016 alone), and close to a hundred more 'one offs' and collaborations with other producers.

      As for the BBC's content, of course opinion is subjective but the viewing figures suggest not everyone agrees with you.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Content is king

      "How do you know they like things which haven't yet been produced?" so let the iPlayer viewer choose the next series to be commissioned? A bit like Amazon with their screeners of new shows? I think that would work, although the new shows would probably me more skewed towards a certain demographic due to who wold be using iPlayer over traditional TV linear TV

    9. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Content is king

      There is still some decent stuff, Sherlock is worth a watch, I enjoyed a James May reassembly programme last night, then watched the model railway documentry afterwards

  16. Dr Wadd

    Don't forget radio

    I really regret the fact that the BBC decided to split radio and television in to two distinct entities within iPlayer. It's not so bad on mobile devices as there as in an app for each, but it used to be really useful to have the radio channels available on non-portable devices such as the XBox 360. It's almost as if the BBC are afraid of even mentioning iPlayer and radio in the same breath, it always seems that whenever the continuity announcer makes reference to streaming a show they only mention the Radio 4 website.

  17. Gorak

    Withholding episodes creates "event TV"

    Not if people are watching it on the iPlayer.

    It's not "tune in next week" anymore, it's "check back sometime in the next 7 days".

  18. jason 7

    How I see the BBC now...

    Imagine Stewart Lee on his Comedy Vehicle stand up in one of his high pitch ranty bits -

    "Hew Stew, you love the BBC, love it! You love cake don't you Stew so have more cake more lovely cake, cake, cake, cake! You love Dr Who too don't you! Well have more Daleks and Cybermen, you love Cybermen don't you Stew! Well have a load move in with you and on the TV all the time! You love X list celebrities making twats of themselves don't you well have more and more till you are puking sequins and fake tan Stew! You love it! You love cake!...Did we forget cake and Dr Who and dancing twats? YOU WILL LOVE THEM!!!!!"

    Repeat five times for at least 15 minutes of the routine until show gets cancelled...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Event tv

    Requires quality content. BBC reinvent yourself for 2000 first sort out the crap content and then aim at Netflix.

    The Xmas day stats are telling, not one show I would have watched even time shifted. Xmas bake up, Christmas come laugh and vote. The midwife...typical period drama the BBC tries to claim is unique but not really for maybe 10years already.

    The BBC is rubbish and the sooner it either cuts down its faux liberal remit and gets core tax funding or just ceases altogether won't be soon enough. The quality is not much higher than tmz these days.

    People who are pro BBC are usually basing it on their rose tinted childhood.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Event tv

      "The Xmas day stats are telling"

      though overall audiences are dropping "BBC One had eight of the 10 most-watched programmes on 25 December, while ITV had two" (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-38498985)

  20. Lotaresco Silver badge

    The bit that puzzles me is...

    Several series have already been published on the iPlayer as "box sets" - the pedant in me says that should be "boxed sets" but not for iPlayer because there's no box. I spotted this with some surprise recently when I went to the iPlayer to find some series my wife was watching. Sorry I can't remember what it was, it was that exciting. Although on TV they had got as far as episode 2, all of the series was on iPlayer. I then noticed several other unboxed/never likely to see a box "box sets" on there. This was back in November. So it's not "news" as such unless the news is that this is now policy, not just something that was happening.

    Possibly it was the BBC trying out the idea.

    They also seem to be using the on-line BBC 3 channel to try out series and then later transmit them on another channel. For example, "Class" is now being aired on BBC One.

    1. Mint Sauce

      Re: The bit that puzzles me is...

      Have an upvote for for consistent use of 'series' rather than 'season' :-)

    2. Alien8n Silver badge

      Re: The bit that puzzles me is...

      BBC3: That was always the remit, even when BBC3 was on-air. There were quite a few shows that started on BBC3 and then moved. Unfortunately there were also a few good shows that only had one series and then faded into obscurity (deliberate pun, I really liked Fades, actually held my attention more than Being Human, which I kind of drifted off pretty much as shown as they commissioned it as an actual series)

  21. Nick London
    Coat

    BBC should not charge for lrgacy programs.

    All well and good but since we pay the licence fee why do they charge for old series. Channel 4's All 4 has lots of legacy series for free.

    I used to use a program that could download radio iplayer content but BBC forced the writer to stop distributing it. Pity as I liked collecting some of the series.

    So I propose that licence payers get a login like Netflix and can then stream legacy content for free which can be shared with 2 or three family members just like Netflix.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BBC should not charge for lrgacy programs.

      "Channel 4's All 4 has lots of legacy series for free."

      Define "free". Last time I tried to use the Channel 4 "watch again" - it demanded that my ad blocker must be switched off. I am happy to endure adverts inserted in the programme stream - but no way am I going to open up my PC to unknown adverts in my browser.

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: BBC should not charge for lrgacy programs.

        And the All 4 app does not work on rooted android device (I assume another over zealous anti ad block effort as with rooted android can set up hosts to kill the IPs of ad slingers)

        ITV player / hub similarly whinges about ad blockers (but app runs on rooted android)

        Fully agree that "in content" ads would be OK but going to dubious third party stuff a definite non starter for security reasons

    2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: BBC should not charge for lrgacy programs.

      "All well and good but since we pay the licence fee why do they charge for old series."

      Because they can.

      How many employees does the Beeb have? And they all have salaries. The big cheese probably has a MASSIVE salary. I know Jonathan Ross had one such thing. For being somewhat nice on TV.

      Licence money sure can distort reality.

      1. MOV r0,r0

        Re: BBC should not charge for lrgacy programs.

        How many employees does the Beeb have? And they all have salaries. The big cheese probably has a MASSIVE salary.

        Undistorted reality from the BBC's own 2016 accounts: they had around 23,000 staff costing £990m. The soon to be abolished Trust cost £4.2m, exec board was a not-massive £3.65m - all increases over 2015 though. Although 'stars' were down £8m to £200m it seems the cost reductions the BBC have been making have been to content rather than staff. Utterly timid.

        Average redundancy appears to be around 16 months pay - somewhat more than employment law requires.

        On the plus side head of BBC Worldwide Tim Davie is paid more than the DG and none of it comes from the Licence Fee.

        1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          Re: BBC should not charge for lrgacy programs.

          "Although 'stars' were down £8m to £200m"

          Well, that's not a lot is it? I mean, think about all the stars at BBC! Let's see now.. Eh... I'm sure something will come to mind soon.

  22. TRT Silver badge

    This is LONG overdue...

    Because I went to the BBC store to but the animated version of Power of the Daleks when it came out. First time I'd been there, so I had a poke around. Return of Doctor Mysterio was available from the BBC Store for like £2.99 or something, but it was on iPlayer for free (well, included in my license fee) for the next 30 days. Weird stuff.

    So I looked at the rest of their catalogue. Huge amounts of cross over on there. Some stuff was commercialised, some not, iPlayer had some stuff available which hadn't been "broadcast" during the last 30 days but was just offered up due to related programming or current events. BBC Store has serials dating back to the 70s and earlier.

    If it's all brought together, tied up with the license fee handling stuff, it could be a really great thing. As it is, it looks like a multitude of different project teams all working on their won way of doing things with the merest hint of a guiding hand on the tiller, most evident by corporate branding similarities but without a commonality of UI or technical design. Which is exactly what it is!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is LONG overdue...

      "As it is, it looks like a multitude of different project teams all working on their won way of doing things with the merest hint of a guiding hand on the tiller"

      You just described working at the BBC.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hyprocritical scenario

    Wasn't the BBC told it should NOT compete for prime time viewing after pulling ratings on Strictly better than whatever else was about at the time?

    Can someone help me understand the difference?

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Hyprocritical scenario

      iPlayer is 'on demand' all the time. Prime time is prime time not all the time.

  24. King Jack Silver badge
    Trollface

    Compete if you really want to

    If the BBC want to 'compete' with commercial broadcasters then let them. But let's make it on an even footing. Scrap the Tax, let them make shows that people want to watch or go under. Make fat cats on top earn their wages/worth just like what happens in 'real' companies. I remember a BBC campaign where they stressed that they could make unique programs because of the unique way they a funded. Yet they deliberately try to compete with other channels by showing dross. You cannot have it both ways. I hope I live long enough to see the BBC licence fee scrapped. They (BBC) will make a saving of millions by no chasing people who see them for what they are.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Compete if you really want to

      I agree in some ways - but I'd personally be Ok to keep paying Licence Fee if (a) they drop the nonsense and do what they're good at (Yes Minister, Fawlty Towers, Python; House of Cards - the original; that sort of thing), (b) they stop showing adverts (trailers for their own shows, thinly disguised in news or current affairs), and (c) those who pay the licence fee can get to content regardless of where they are - and those who dont, cant get it free just because theyre in the right place.

  25. JDX Gold badge

    Why don't they just license their content to Netflix et al?

    I don't really understand the motivation here. Surely the aim is to get people consuming BBC content, and to generate revenue from that, not just to get people using their own app?

  26. Neill Mitchell

    Great, so now I'll be able to binge watch an entire series of "Mrs Brown's Boys" in advance of broadcast. Either that or stick my head in a mincer. Don't make me choose.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Mrs Brown's Boys - That shit isn't even made by the BBC they buy it! What a waste of money? I wonder if they do it to keep those in NI happy and to show they are being diverse?

  27. jason 7

    Another problem they have...

    ...as more people like myself and others have done in switching to other TV sources is that when they do produce the one or two gems in the constant flow of turds, they will get missed.

    I guess we'll catch them when they come to Netflix...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Megaphone

      Re: Another problem they have...

      I almost never watch anything on the Beeb and what I do watch is on catch-up via my NOW TV box.

      One thing I would say about iPlayer content, is that everything has subtitles and as someone with dodgy hearing (and rubbish speakers on my flat-screen tv) saves me having to turn up the volume to annoying levels.

      (Bull horn icon in lieu of "Can You Hear Me, Mother?" icon).

  28. Jon Jones 73

    No

    "The decision [in 2009] forced the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 to each create their own apps"

    Not it didn't. iPlayer was up and running at the end of 2007. ITV Player at the end of 2008. 4OD launched in 2006.

  29. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Global lol! That's hilarious for a broadcaster as tight as the BBC. Well I suppose it could be Global if you can get yourself a decent VPN.

  30. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    They'll be able to test the metrics of episodic vs binge publication by the success or otherwise of such ventures as The Grand Tour on Amazon, no?

    Or do the BBC think that they are the first to come up with the model?

  31. Shufflemoomin

    "Withholding episodes creates "event TV" – a common cultural experience – and results in increased attention."

    Ah, no. Withholding episodes drives people to Torrents and YouTube. If someone wants to see something, they'll find it online somewhere. They're not going to wait around until it shows up in the TV listings and sit down to watch it at a time dictated by the BBC. It's not the 80s any more.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      WTF?

      How is the BBC going to drive them to torrents and YouTube if they've not broadcasted it yet? Pirates don't have time tellies.

  32. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    "exec board was a not-massive £3.65m"

    Here are actual salaries for the executives:

    £450,000

    £395,000

    £295,000

    £340,000

    £340,000

    £295,000

    Not exactly frugal with our money. Nice work if you can get it.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Now look at Netflix's board.

      Of course, it's the BBC which is profligate...

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