BBC Given Approval to Launch Netflix-style Subscription Service

By Gary Cutlack on at

Government overseers in charge of what the BBC is or isn't allowed to do have granted it approval to launch an online subscription service, with sources claiming that the corporation has already been in talks with several partners about how such a thing might work.

ITV and NBC Universal are apparently in on the discussions, which with ITV's input ought to give it a thoroughly British feel and help it compete with the US-themed Netflix and Amazon options. Current reports suggest that it would exist alongside the iPlayer in the UK at least, where it would offer the chance to catch up on shows once the 30-day viewing cache has expired. If it turns out to be some sort of ultimate BBC archive of everything, that'd surely be worth £6.99 a month to at least half the world.

Last week's white paper on the BBC's future appeared to welcome such a move, but warned that it shouldn't encroach on the iPlayer's territory in the UK, saying that any such global subscription service shouldn't involve asking or inferring that viewers have to pay for additional services as a "top-up" to the current system. [Guardian]

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