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BBC Comments on 'Complex U.S. Market' for iPlayer Service

By - Source: TechRadar | B 10 comments

BBC reportedly having a tough time with US cable companies.

The BBC's iPlayer app is only available to those in the United Kingdom and select European countries, but the British broadcaster hasn't given up on bringing the service stateside.

Launched on December 25 four years ago, the BBC's iPlayer has seen considerable success. Allowing people to catch up on the last seven days of their favourite BBC TV and radio shows for free. The service was, until last year, restricted to users in the UK. This is because the cost is covered by the UK's television license fees. However, last year, the broadcaster took the service overseas with the launch of Global iPlayer for iPad users in Europe. Covering classic and current TV shows, a subscription costs €7 per month or €49.99 for a full year. At the end of 2011, Australians, Scandinavians and Canadian were also granted access. So what about America? 

According to the BBC, the United States is proving a tricky nut to crack. TechRadar reports that previous rumors suggested cable companies were blocking the launch, and the BBC has said the US market is complicated.

"The US is a particularly complex media market," BBC's Head of Communications for Worldwide Channels and Global iPlayer, Tessa Matchett, told TechRadar in an email. "We have a successful cable channel in BBC America and we're weighing our options for additional platforms."

Word on the street is that US cable companies threatened to drop BBC America out of fear a service like iPlayer would lure subscribers away.

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Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    jabliese , August 10, 2012 1:56 PM
    Dear Cable, Phone, and Music companies.

    Things change, go with the flow.

    Thank you.
  • 11 Hide
    lahawzel , August 10, 2012 1:12 PM
    iWishThisNamingFadWouldEndSoon
Other Comments
  • 11 Hide
    lahawzel , August 10, 2012 1:12 PM
    iWishThisNamingFadWouldEndSoon
  • 12 Hide
    jabliese , August 10, 2012 1:56 PM
    Dear Cable, Phone, and Music companies.

    Things change, go with the flow.

    Thank you.
  • 3 Hide
    silverblue , August 10, 2012 3:05 PM
    iPlayer has been around for the best part of five years. It may take its inspiration from i-products, but it's certainly one of the most established examples.

    In any case, if the licence fee were to be abolished, the BBC would find itself in a whole world of poop.
  • 0 Hide
    irh_1974 , August 10, 2012 4:17 PM
    Apple are just sore they didn't think of iPlayer first, come to think of it they didn't thik of iPad, iPhone or iPod first, or Apple for that matter...

    But back on subject, cable companies shouldn't feel threatened, BBC content doesn't compete across all levels and would be more akin to competing with Netflix, plus if they did it via a website I don't see how they can stop the BBC apart from getting the ISPs to block it.
  • 0 Hide
    xerroz , August 10, 2012 7:24 PM
    Cable companies, phone networks, record industry, movie studios - all holding innovation behind and going forward with greed instead.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 10, 2012 7:53 PM
    Some of us have been waiting for iPlayer for well over a year now. It's depressing to think that cable companies are as idiotic as they are. Am I going to kill my cable when I can finally get my mitts on iPlayer? Heck yes. But what they don't get is that I'm going to do that anyway, iPlayer or no. BBC America is okay, but DirecTV can't even be bothered to offer it in HD, and half of what it shows are Star Trek: The Next Generation reruns. Not exactly a BBC production. Cable and satellite providers are just a bunch of stick-in-the-mud eejits.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 10, 2012 8:10 PM
    The garbage/affordability ratio of U.S. cable and satellite is way too high. I cancelled my DirecTV long ago. Bring on the BBC iPlayer already!

  • 0 Hide
    silverblue , August 11, 2012 2:25 PM
    I did notice that certain programmes are not available on the iPlayer, i.e. Family Guy. Would this be the case for US subscribers as well?
  • 0 Hide
    f-14 , August 12, 2012 12:03 AM
    serves them right too for charging for tv programming and making people pay to watch commercials.
    i want them relegated to be nothing more than ISP's
  • 0 Hide
    f-14 , August 12, 2012 12:03 AM
    Quote:
    Word on the street is that US cable companies threatened to drop BBC America out of fear a service like iPlayer would lure subscribers away.

    ya cable providers are already getting their arses handed to them by domestic competition, if you throw in foreign competition they are sunk to being nothing more than an ISP.