BBC Global iPlayer could launch in US on iPadUS to get international version of iPlayer first?

02 December 2010

Doctor Who will be available on international iPlayer

Fans of Doctor Who will be able to watch it 'on-demand' on international iPlayer

The BBC iPlayer's international version - dubbed BBC iPlayer Global - is set to launch on Apple's iPad in the US in the first half of 2011. At launch, the iPad's version of iPlayer Global will be available on a subscription-only basis.

As Which? reported, the BBC trust approved an international version of iPlayer last month, bringing on-demand BBC TV shows to a worldwide audience.

The BBC is expected to launch iPlayer Global as a pilot version in the US, prior to being the go-ahead by the BBC Trust to roll out across the world and across a range of computing and mobile devices.

Speaking at the the Digital TV Summit, Luke Bradley-Jones, MD of - the corporation's commercial arm - said that the iPad has the potential to develop a 'truly interactive video-on-demand service', and confirmed that such a service would be subscription-only.

'We'll be adopting a pure subscription model for the launch, in part to get audiences used to using the service, but more importantly so we can generate additional value in terms of the user data this gives us. We'll also offer advertisers the chance to partner with us on the "free" areas of the service,' Bradley-Jones said.

In the US, the BBC's iPlayer would be in direct competition with services such as Hulu and Netflix for video on demand (VOD) content on the iPad.

iPlayer in the UK

Online, on-demand TV services - such as the BBC iPlayer or Channel 4oD - let you watch TV shows when you want to rather than having to stick to the TV schedule. If you're yet to experience the freedom of on-demand TV, find out more in the free Which? online TV guide.

You can currently only watch BBC iPlayer within the UK. Fans of BBC shows who try to watch iPlayer outside of the UK will find themselves unable to view due to rights restrictions. For more information read our guide to using BBC iPlayer.

UK viewers can watch iPlayer on a wide range of devices, including:

  • Desktop PCs 
  • Laptops 
  • Compatible smartphones 
  • Tablet PCs - including Apple's iPad.    

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