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BBC Shows on iTunes This Week?

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After promises about moving BBC content to the Mac platform in 2008, TheRegister.co.uk is reporting that the BBC will start distributing shows over iTunes this week.

According to their sources, BBC will detail their plans on Tuesday and has already contacted third party production partners of the new distribution channel.

The BBC had been under some criticism that their iPlayer download service has been unavailable for platforms other than Windows. Last week, they explained that this had to do with Digital Rights Management issues. The introduction of a rental model on iTunes may have paved the way for BBC to work with Apple to provide time-limited content (as required by their content providers).

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kornyboy

macrumors 68000
Sep 27, 2004
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I wonder if this will only be available in the UK or in other countries as well.
 
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sunfast

macrumors 68020
Oct 14, 2005
2,134
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Fantastic news, I really hope this is true.

I wonder if this will only be available in the UK or in other countries as well.

I'd be surprised if it's available outside the UK as it's funded by UK license payers. Unless they'd be able to offer some paid subscription model for those overseas?
 
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anti-microsoft

macrumors 68000
Dec 15, 2006
1,665
6
Edinburgh, Scotland
Yes! Please BBC! Please, Please, Pleeaaeeaase?? Pretty Please!

This would be amazing and it would be great through iTunes! I suppose the article is refering to tomorrow= this tuesday!?

I wonder is this will only be available in the UK or in other contries as well

I doubt it being available around the globe...Their iPlayer service only works in the UK...
 
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hvfsl

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2001
1,844
144
London, UK
Unless the BBC do make this available to the rest of the world, I can see a lot of people buying UK iTunes vouchers on ebay so they can create a UK account.

But distributing on iTunes won't solve the Linux problem (unless the BBC are going to put pressure on Apple to release a Linux version of iTunes).
 
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MacBoobsPro

macrumors 603
Jan 10, 2006
5,114
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If they are going to charge for them, then **** is going to fly.

The easiest way to get round the "unique way the BBC is funded' is to ask iTunes users for their TV license number. Then you can watch what you want at no extra cost. Obviously the damn license fee will go up next year (yet again) but its the most logical way.

My bet however will be they don't go this route. :rolleyes:
 
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superleccy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 31, 2004
982
129
That there big London
The Register said:
Worldwide services are distinct from the BBC iPlayer, which offers programmes broadcast in the last seven days online for free. Ashley Highfield, the man with ultimate responsibility for the BBC's online efforts, has indicated iPlayer will be available via the AppleTV set-top box, however.
This rumour relates to BBC Worldwide, who are a different "group" within the BBC to the iPlayer people. So don't expect iPlayer to move to iTunes this week in the UK. More likely, classic BBC programmes will start to be sold internationally via iTunes.

But if the BBC is embracing Apple & iTunes, then I'm sure it won't be long before iPlayer comes to iTunes. It'd be such a good fit it'd be daft for both parties not to!

Whatever... this is great news if it's true!

SL
 
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kimble3

macrumors member
Jun 10, 2004
40
-1
This could be seriously huge! Not because we might get BBC content on iTunes. But rather because it could pave the way for having regular TV content on iTunes for free. There have been two recent developments that are significant. The first is the iTunes rental which allows time-limited viewing of content. The second is the writers strike negotiations where the studios fought to have a two week "promotional" period after a TV show airs where the writers do not get royalties. Put these together and I imagine a scenario where there could be TV shows offered on iTunes immediately after they air as "free" rentals. They would probably have embedded ads and would only be available for a couple weeks after the air date. After that, they would be sold for $1.99 just like they are today.

This is the scenario that I am really hoping for. I'm also convinced that this is why Apple did not build any kind of DVR functionality into the Apple TV. Instead of messing around with setting up recording schedules you could simply subscribe to a show like you do a podcast and episodes would automatically download when available. Simple!

I think Apple has had the technology ready for a long time, it's just hasn't been until now that the politics have caught up with them. Personally, I can't wait!
 
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thefunkymunky

macrumors 65816
Feb 24, 2005
1,270
2
London
If they are going to charge UK consumers for this it ain't gonna be popular. The iPlayer service is free. Also, to get over the DRM issue, why don't they use RealPlayer? It has DRM functionality on Mac, PC and Linux.:confused:
 
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MarkW19

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2002
1,209
1
Surrey, UK
They have to be free. We already pay a fairly large amount for a TV license JUST for the BBC channels anyway, so they can't be £1.89 or whatever it is per episode, that's ridiculous...

It has to be just another outlet like the iPlayer, which would be awesome...but I can't see them being free, and on iTunes.
 
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2bcool2

macrumors regular
Jan 31, 2008
186
6
they cant charge for this service, weve already paid for the programmes via the tv licence .

i think if they charged there would be an enquirey.

would be nice to dl tv shows to the iphone

by the way can i be the first in this thread to say

WHERE ARE THE FECKIN MACBOOK PROS APPLE
???????

thank u for your attention
 
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The Phazer

macrumors 68030
Oct 31, 2007
2,862
514
London, UK
If they are going to charge UK consumers for this it ain't gonna be popular. The iPlayer service is free. Also, to get over the DRM issue, why don't they use RealPlayer? It has DRM functionality on Mac, PC and Linux.:confused:

Real's DRM doesn't time out the content in a rental model, which is why the BBC has to have DRM in the first place.

The BBC only own transitory licences to most of their content. The iPlayer allows that to be extended a bit, but doesn't go to making it available to be kept permanently.

Lots of confusion in this thread, so lets try and sort it out.

There are two parts of the BBC - The main BBC (who are licence fee funded) and BBC Worldwide, who are a commercial company that operates on a for-profit basis to use the BBC's archive to raise revenue to subsidise the licence fee - and also to make that archive content available, as since it charges or runs adverts around it's content it can pay rights holders (writers, actors, music labels etc) for the extra rights required from the takings - usually on a profit share basis).

This rumour is about BBC Worldwide, not the BBC (the BBC run iPlayer).

The idea is that with BBC programmes within the UK there will be a public/commercial split. The programme will be aired, available for free on iPlayer (and disappear because of iPlayer's DRM or when the stream is taken down). Then on that "eighth day" BBC Worldwide will take over the content, and they will sell it over their "Kangaroo" service (which other broadcasters are participating in). These will likely be paid for permanent downloads like most iTunes content, though BBC Worldwide have said they're exploring other methods (maybe things like a streaming service with adverts, like Hulu). I would imagine the price would be something like iTunes charges now, if not higher.

I doubt there'll be much consternation about this, despite what's said above - it's exactly the same situation as has happened with BBC DVD's and BBC videos for twenty years.

International BBC channels like BBC America are run by BBC Worldwide anyway, and always air programmes after the "eighth day". BBC Worldwide have said there will be some offering of programmes internationally via Kangaroo, but it won't be everything (the rights are too hard to organise, and it takes a lot of time), and it will also be charged for. I think it's very unlikely (given BBC America is a for profit channel, not a public service one) that there will be any free download window at all outside of the UK, though I suppose there could be some experiments with ads. It'll likely just be paid downloads from the start. Broadcast (the trade industry newspaper) carried a story last week that the international version was likely to be BBC America branded, at least initially, but would have more programmes than were available on that channel at least.

Recently the BBC have said now that Apple have a rental model on iTunes DRM they hope they can reach a deal for it to be used in the same way iPlayer operates within the UK (and it would be UK only if it was) - however, this is far from confirmed, and I'm not so sure it'll ever happen - Apple refused previously because they wanted a revenue share, and you can't take a share of nothing. Now that they don't have to modify Fairplay with timed expiry they might be a bit more willing, but no one knows. Certainly, I don’t think it'll happen for six months + if it does happen.

However, it is possible that BBC Worldwide are going to sell programmes on iTunes. Which is the rumour. They certainly could do, though I would be surprised if they offered it before Kangaroo launches myself, given that's the platform they're building. And since Kangaroo will be launched in the UK before it is internationally (by at least a few months) I'd be *double* surprised if any shows are available internationally through iTunes, at least at launch.

Phazer
 
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johnnyjibbs

macrumors 68030
Sep 18, 2003
2,959
119
London, UK
If I am not mistaken, it is illegal for the BBC to charge for its content [to UK TV licence payers]. But it is also bordering on the illegal (seriously) for it not to put 100% effort into making its programmes available on all mediums, and partiuclarly not to show favouritism among companies - (even the Coco-cola logo has to be covered up on Blue Peter for competitive reasons, for Pete's sake!)

However, that puts the BBC in a rather awkward position, especially as Apple is not obliged to provide content via iTunes in this way...

Still, it would be a massive opportunity for Apple, as it will push up (further) the take-up and market share of iTunes, which will mean more iTunes store sales in the long run. It will also surely give the Apple TV the kickstart it needs in the UK (for hardware sales at least) so that, once movie rentals kick in over here, everyone will already have their Apple TV box.
 
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The Phazer

macrumors 68030
Oct 31, 2007
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London, UK
If I am not mistaken, it is illegal for the BBC to charge for its content [to UK TV licence payers].

It is for the BBC, but not for BBC Worldwide - which is why BBC Worldwide own subscription channels showing BBC archive repeats and sell DVDs, both in the UK.

But it is also bordering on the illegal (seriously) for it not to put 100% effort into making its programmes available on all mediums, and partiuclarly not to show favouritism among companies.

Certainly to make it's best possible efforts, yes.

Phazer
 
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thworple

macrumors 6502
Oct 20, 2005
349
0
Sussex, England
If I am not mistaken, it is illegal for the BBC to charge for its content [to UK TV licence payers].

Not really - if that were true then all the BBC shows on VHS and DVD over the last couple of decades would have been free!

BBC Worldwide, which is the commercial arm of the Beeb, handles distribution of programmes both globally, and locally on home video - any deal to ensure the Beeb had shows on iTunes would be with this section of the company.

It would be very different to the iPlayer, as you only get those shows for a limited time, whereas any shows made available for sale on any online store, would be for keeps.

I would imagine they'll have to have a few partners for this content, as the main problem for availability on iTunes is the DRM issue. The BBC would try to ensure that any downloaded content can be playable on multiple formats. The store won't work on all OS's, and downloaded video content will only work on Apple branded products. So expect this on more than just one outlet.
 
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MrT8064

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2006
716
22
UK
i can confirm you DO NOT need a TV Licence to watch BBC Programs online, as they are put their after the programs become live.

please see this linkhttp://tvlicensing.metafaq.com/templates/tvlicensing/main/answerPage?_mftvst:answerRef=%24http%3a%2f%2fapi.transversal.com%2fmfapi%2fobjectref%2fEntryStore%2fEntry%2fhttp%3a%2f%2fwww.metafaq.com%2fmfapi%2fMetafaq%2fClients%2ftvlicensing%2fModules%2flicensingInfo%2fTopics%2fgeneral%3a138369%3a0&_mftvst:moduleID=%24licensingInfo&_mftvst:topicID=%24&id=N2D82GET4OEIU0NGJM9K7MM2L4

my family don't have a TV License, but do use iPlayer on our Macs (streaming, not downloading) it is annoying because our broadband cannot stream the content at peak times, which is really when you want to watch TV!! Its fine before 5pm or after 11pm
 
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Porco

macrumors 68040
Mar 28, 2005
3,152
6,123
If they charge for programmes on iTunes before they even offer iPlayer downloads to mac users they have a right cheek, and will rightly have to suffer further serious criticism for their Microsoft bias.
 
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The Phazer

macrumors 68030
Oct 31, 2007
2,862
514
London, UK
If they charge for programmes on iTunes before they even offer iPlayer downloads to mac users they have a right cheek, and will rightly have to suffer further serious criticism for their Microsoft bias.

So it would be better to offer nothing for Macs at all for six months until they can get an agreement and infrastucture built with Apple for rentals or go wtih the original plan of waiting for Adobe to finish the desktop DRM for Adobe AIR?

That seems to be us cutting off our own noses to spite our faces to me. Apple did us no favours here.

Phazer
 
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Porco

macrumors 68040
Mar 28, 2005
3,152
6,123
So it would be better to offer nothing for Macs at all for six months until they can get an agreement and infrastucture built with Apple for rentals or go wtih the original plan of waiting for Adobe to finish the desktop DRM for Adobe AIR?

That seems to be us cutting off our own noses to spite our faces to me. Apple did us no favours here.

Phazer

No, they simply shouldn't have ever launched their iPlayer until it was available on Windows, Mac and Linux. It's not the same as commercial broadcasters, their royal charter demands fair access because of the licence fee. To start charging money for something that has already been free to Windows users is beyond a joke. They have moaned about DRM not being available for the mac, but that is THEIR problem, which they had, and continue to have, a duty to resolve. If they can get Apple to help with that, great, but if they are just using iTunes as another revenue stream they are failing to live up to their own commitments.

As much as I hate how MS-DRM-centric all the other UK broadcasters are, they can do as they like, as they are largely commercial operations and don't have the same responsibility as the BBC, who seem to want to have their cake and eat it, by getting the licence fee and yet acting like a commercial operation in all regards other than having advertising like the other broadcasters.

I see no reason why they can't do a deal with iTunes to use Apple's rental model for free downloads though, that would be almost satisfactory.
 
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superleccy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 31, 2004
982
129
That there big London
Phazer - I agree with you. I can't believe that everyone else is getting so confused. This is about BBC Worldwide, not the BBC iPlayer crew.

This rumuor = BBC archive content being made available worldwide (UK included) purchase or rental via iTunes. NOT free; analogous to buying BBC DVDs or VHS tapes which aren't free either.

iPlayer-on-iTunes rumour (not this rumour) = BBC providing a service to via iTunes allowing selected recently broadcast content to be downloaded to Mac/PC/iPod/:apple:TV. Service available for 'free' (paid for by TV licence) but to UK only and content expires 7 days after original broadcast.

SL
 
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