The BBC’s iPlayer is an awesome catch-up TV service, but it’s blocked for access outside of the UK. There are complex proxy tricks you can use to get it, but a simpler solution is on the cards: the BBC is contemplating an international edition of the service.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the BBC Trust has approved the concept, though there’s no fixed launch date yet, and no indication of whether the service will be ad-funded or require a subscription. The BBC is funded by a compulsory licence fee for all UK TV-owning residents, so it’s not feasible for the service to simply be made available without charge. The BBC News site features online ads for non-UK residents, but given the higher costs involved with delivering video, I’m guessing a subscription is the more likely option. Even then, there’s a tricky balancing act in not losing revenue from selling shows overseas if networks figure everyone interested will watch them online instead. Eagerly awaiting more details on this one.
What model would you like to see adopted for an international iPlayer? Share your thoughts in the comments.