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BBC iPlayer Coming to U.S.

The BBC today launched an iPad video service called iPlayer in Western Europe, and it will come to the U.S. later this year. While some content is free, iPlayer is basically a subscription service costing 6.99 Euros a month (that's exactly $10 U.S., according to our conversion, although the writer hints that the U.S. price will be about $7.99 to compete with Hulu Plus and Netflix).

BBC Worldwide says there is already 1,500 hours of content available, and it will be adding some 100 more hours monthly. That means not only recent BBC content, but selections from its library going back 50 to 60 years. "Doctor Who" fans, for example, can choose from separate collections of episodes based on individual Doctors -- The Tennant Years, The Ecclestone Years and so on -- as well as one focused purely on episodes featuring the Daleks.

The player features downloading capability for offline viewing, and streaming via both 3G and wi-fi. In general, shows will not be added to the app until they have run on "terrestrial channels" (i.e., BBC America, PBS). And existing deals with both Netflix and iTunes will remain in effect. The complicated rights picture is why the app didn't launch today in the U.S., says a BBC Wordwide exec.



Read the whole story at The Guardian »

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