We have been here before, and been disappointed (by ‘Project Kangaroo’), so perhaps don’t get too excited and start cancelling your Foxtel / UKTV subscription, but….
..It is being widely reported that the BBC will lunch a global version of the iPlayer soon, available in Australia. There has been no official statement yet from the BBC Trust, and no launch dates yet, but Luke Bradley-Jones, Managing Director of the Global iPlayer said: “Our research has shown there is an international audience of British TV fans that are frequently watching TV online – and we are excited about rolling out our iPlayer VOD service to meet and grow this demand.” “We strongly believe the Global iPlayer is going to offer an excellent opportunity for the UK’s creative industry to directly reach much sought after digital audiences and revenue streams around the world.”
There no word either on pricing structure. BBC Worldwide makes big money by selling BBC shows to broadcasters around the world, and Australia is a significant market for purchasing BBC programming. They will therefore have to replace that revenue with money from either; advertising, viewers paying to view episodes, or viewers paying a subscription. I suspect they will go subscription model, with possibly the option to buy per show. How much would you be willing to pay? My guess is they will go for something close to AU$10 per month.
The other big question is, will any of the other UK channels be included at launch or in future? This was the plan with the now defunct ‘Project Kangaroo’.
It’s certainly big news for expat Brits in Aus – the only slight disappointment is MOTD doesn’t get feature on iPlayer because of rights restrictions – BOOOOOOOO.