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Rumor: BBC to distribute shows via iTunes

by Brad Linder, posted Feb 18th 2008 1:01PM
iTunes mockup with Doctor Who
The BBC may be preparing to distribute some of its more popular programs via Apple's iTunes store. The Register is reporting that details on the partnership could be announced as soon as Tuesday.

UK residents can already watch a number of BBC shows online using the iPlayer service, which lets users watch any show that's been broadcast within the last 7 days for free. But the iPlayer is only available to British residents who pay for the BBC's programming with their taxes. Outside of the UK, you have to pay if you want your Doctor Who.

It's not clear right now whether any shows the BBC distributes via iTunes will be available outside of Britan or not. Apple charges UK customers £1.89 to download a television episode, which is almost $2 more than the $1.99 US customers pay. So while it's possible the BBC won't want to sell its content at the lower prices, some money is better than no money, right?

Update: It looks like BBC content is now available at the UK iTunes store, but not the US store.

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March 26 2008 at 2:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Im in the UK and the perception is that BBC America do an awful job at getting our shows out there. Hopefully this will open up a wave of UK -> US shows - anyone who likes Curb Your Enthusiasm should check out I'm Alan Partridge as a starting point. The sitcom Spaced is also one of the best shows committed to film (third-highest-ranked TV show in imdb), followed only by my pet fave, Arrested Development (second highest rated show on imdb!)
PS Just realised AD is tied with The Wire for number 2 spot, with Planet Earth at #1.

February 18 2008 at 2:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brian Winkeler

...also, look at how freakin' expensive BBC DVD sets cost. Retail for DOCTOR WHO is something like $100, I think.

However, it would be great to see them start to promote their goods there - BBC America does a piss poor job staying on top of anything current (TORCHWOOD being the lone exception at the moment). PEEP SHOW should be required viewing for all fans of THE OFFICE, and any way to get more American eyes on it would be welcome in my book.

February 18 2008 at 1:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Here is to hoping Top Gear shows up in the US store.

February 18 2008 at 1:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

They'll probably charge $1.99 in the US too. The Brits seem to charge higher prices that look like American prices. Just as an example the equivalent of McDonald's "Dollar Menu" in the UK (the "Pound Saver Menu") charges £1.19 for a double cheeseburger that sells for about a dollar in the US.

February 18 2008 at 1:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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