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Saturday, 19 September 2015

BBC Planning Netflix-Style Service for US

The BBC have announced plans to launch a subscription-based video streaming in the United States, 3 months after the international iPlayer experiment ended.

BBC director general Tony Hall said he wanted to "try out businesses that go direct to the public" to boost the income of BBC Worldwide and it would showcase the "best of British" TV to American audiences.

"We're launching a new over-the-top video service in America offering BBC fans programmes they wouldn't otherwise get - showcasing British actors, our programme-makers - and celebrating our culture," he said in a speech on Thursday.

A BBC spokeswoman said its programmes would still broadcast on US TV channels, and that the new service was not designed to compete with products such as Netflix, which stream content from a number of partners.

"The subscription service will complement our existing footprint in the USA. Other video streaming services remain an important part of our business plan to ensure we bring the best of British to our audiences," she said.

Lord Hall said he hoped to boost the income of BBC Worldwide to £1.2bn over the next five years, to help fund new BBC programmes, "We need to raise commercial income to supplement the licence fee so we can invest as much as possible in content for UK audiences," he said. "Without that income, we can't continue what we already do for the UK in drama or natural history."

Quite how this will go after their 4-year-long international iPlayer trial ended, we don't know, although we can presume it went reasonable successfully.

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