BBC Worldwide’s international iPlayer will be a paid-for service launching on Apple’s iPad device, Luke Bradley-Jones, EVP and MD, BBC.com has told a London conference organised by TBIvision’s publisher Informa.
Bradley-Jones, speaking at the Digital TV Summit 2010, said that the international version of its catch-up service will likely move to a hybrid model of pay and free in the medium term, but that it will be primarily paid-for at launch next year.
The price-points and launch territories are still being decided upon. There will be BBC and third-party content and Bradley-Jones told TBIvision it is currently clearing rights.
Pay TV operators immediately expressed concern that the BBC service would provide a rival to the BBC Worldwide channels that they pay a carriage fee to carry. In response to this concern, Bradley-Jones said that the service will not launch in all markets.
Worldwide had to obtain the relevant clearance from the BBC Trust that oversees all of the UK public broadcaster’s activities before pushing ahead with launch plans for the international iPlayer.