The BBC recently launched the iPlayer worldwide, which took the form of a subscription service with access to the Beeb’s back catalogue. We’ve also seen the BBC ink deals with both LoveFilm and Netflix for archived shows. Now Aunty is mulling creating its own pay-per-view archive service for the UK.
The controversial plan will mean viewers will be able to watch episodes of programs after they’ve expired past the seven-day catch up window, and access old shows like Fawlty Towers and Only Fools and Horses. We’re apparently only talking about a small fee here, although the exact amount hasn’t been suggested.
Considering we already have to pay £145.50 for a TV Licence, which essentially funds the BBC, it could cause quite a stir to attempt to charge more. But putting all that content online and making it available for streaming isn’t cheap and the BBC is looking to cover its costs.
Would you cough up a small fee, say 49p per episode, to watch back-catalogue stuff from the BBC? Or would you rather get it as part of an on-demand subscription package like Netflix? Then again, do you think the entire BBC archive should be made available for free online — charging for it is simple outrageous?
I wouldn’t mind paying to watch the odd episode of Blackadder again, but then I’m already a LoveFilm and Netflix subscriber anyway. Whatever happens, we’ll not see anything implemented until 2016 at the earliest, so no need to get your knickers in a twist just yet. [The Guardian]