Global iPlayer Adds Third-Party Content, New Platforms


LONDON: BBC Worldwide is bringing the Global iPlayer trial app to Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch, alongside scoring a deal to add programming from DRG to the on-demand service.

The trial service was previously available on the Apple iPad, with the iPhone and iPod touch coming as the latest additions. The Global BBC iPlayer will now reach millions of new viewers in Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden, among other territories.

BBC Worldwide has also made its first third-party acquisition for the service, tapping into the catalogue of DRG. The agreement will bring hit British series such as Peep Show, Shameless, Black Books, Green Wing and Father Ted to the commercial on-demand service in early 2012. The DRG programming will sit alongside titles from the BBC catalogue.

John Smith, the chief executive of BBC Worldwide, commented: “The global BBC iPlayer has seen great growth since the pilot first launched in July—both in terms of geographical expansion and technological developments. Moving to iPhone and iPod touch allows us to take the service to a significant new potential audience and deliver fantastic program content from the BBC and the U.K.’s creative industry.”
In a keynote speech to the Digital TV Summit, Jana Bennett, the president of worldwide networks and Global BBC iPlayer, said, “This platform extension shows how Global iPlayer isn’t just about moving TV to tablet devices, it’s also about a mobile strategy—about truly getting TV everywhere in a way that it hasn’t been before. We also want the global BBC iPlayer to be truly representative of the whole gamut of British creative output, to represent everything that is great about British content—not just the Best of British TV but the Best of British Culture.” 

Patrick Roberts, the senior VP of international sales at DRG, commented, “We are very proud to be the first independent distributor to supply content to the hugely anticipated pilot of the global BBC iPlayer. This success reflects the excellence and originality of the programming we represent, such as the bold and ground-breaking Shameless and Peep Show, superb examples of British creativity. Core to DRG’s digital strategy is partnering our titles with the world’s most trusted and relevant platforms. New opportunities, such as the global BBC iPlayer pilot service, will enable producers to achieve even broader revenue streams, whilst building bigger and stronger popularity for their program brand.”