The Chief Executive of BBC Worldwide, John Smith, has announced that the broadcaster’s hugely popular online catch-up service BBC iPlayer will be rolled out to international markets next year.
Although the BBC Trust has yet to release any official statement on the move, BBC Worldwide head Smith declared the plans in an interview with the Telegraph stating: "Not only will that mean international fans of, for example, Doctor Who can get their fix legitimately, but it has the potential of opening up a new revenue stream for the entire UK production industry.”
Currently restricted to UK users, the on-demand catch-up service could help generate some much needed revenue for the BBC if rolled out internationally through fee paying subscriptions or potential advertising revenues.
"Our research has shown there is an international audience of British TV fans that are frequently watching TV online – and we are excited about rolling out our iPlayer VOD service to meet and grow this demand.” announced Luke Bradley-Jones, Managing Director of the Global iPlayer.
"We strongly believe the Global iPlayer is going to offer an excellent opportunity for the UK's creative industry to directly reach much sought after digital audiences and revenue streams around the world."