'Project Barcelona,' BBC paid download service confirmed

New TV shows will be available to purchase and keep minutes after airing

The BBC's rumoured paid download portal is official and will make classic and brand new TV shows available to download and keep.

The BBC has confirmed its plans to launch an iTunes-like service, which will allow viewers to download and keep TV shows as soon as they've aired.

The scheme, codenamed 'Project Barcelona,' will see both new and archive shows made available for a "relatively modest fee" according to BBC director general Mark Thompson.

Project Barcelona, which is likely to live somewhere within the iPlayer ecosystem still has to be approved by both the BBC Trust and the pool of independent producers who supply the BBC with much of the content in question.

The latter may resist over concerns about how the scheme may affect DVD sales, but are likely to be placated by a greater share of the pudding than iTunes offers.

Thompson is yet to confirm when the service will launch or how much the Corporation intends to charge per episode, although early speculation is that it'll be in the region of £1.89.

Regarding inevitable concerns that the scheme will force consumers to simply pay again for content they've already bought through the license fee, Thompson says the scheme is simply akin to going out and buying a DVD.

"This is not a second licence-fee by stealth or any reduction in the current public service offering from the BBC – it's the exact analogy of going into a high-street shop to buy a DVD or, before that, a VHS cassette," he said.

"For decades the British public has understood the distinction between watching Dad's Army on BBC1 and then going out to buy a permanent copy of it. Barcelona is the digital equivalent of doing the second."

Via: The Guardian