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Yahoo! Finance reports that BBC director-general Mark Thompson has committed to make its iPlayer VOD service available to Brits abroad.
The independent TV producers’ trade group told PaidContent:UK that Tompson's idea has not been agreed with industry and wil oppose the plan.
John McVay, CEO of the sector’s trade group Pact, told paidContent:UK :
“The terms of trade DO NOT allow for the iPlayer to be accessed outside of the UK as this cuts across the commercial rights of independent producers.”
Thompson reacted on this with the message that it may need more
flexibility from producers, this is exactly the inflexibility from the
TV industry that is upholding transformation.
The challenge in this case is that the TV rights business is highly dependent on windowing on a national boundary basis.
In 2004 and 2006, terms of trade are determined, but all within the UK boundaries. That’s why iPlayer can only be accessed in the UK.
Furthermore, Mark Thompson elaborated on the BBC's worldwide iPlayer:
“Within a year, we wish to launch an international commercial version of the iPlayer.”
PaidContent:UK adds to this:
The BBC’s commercial wing has itself been trying to launch a revenue-making, overseas equivalent to iPlayer, in order to show programmes like Doctor Who and Top Gear as VOD to non-UK users, particularly those in the U.S.. But the service has still not materialised, with the rights complexity believed to be at fault.