Exclusive: BBC to Offer Subscription Service on RealOne in U.S.

Slight Correction: BBC is still debating whether to go it alone in U.S. (not part of RealNetworks), OR offer a more comprehensive subscription service under the RealOne umbrella (not as a part of the $9.95 service, but outside of it).

The original post: BBC Worldwide will start a multimedia subscription service for RealNetworks, which will be marketed to the U.S. consumers through RealOne SuperPass, a source told PaidContent.org. This extends an already existing relation the companies has: BBC is already a partner with RealOne for Europe, but not specifically marketed as a subscription service due to license fee/free-to-air issues.

The news multimedia service from BBC, aimed specifically at broadband users, has yet to be priced and will be introduced in a couple of months. BBC is still debating whether to launch it as a stand alone service within RealOne or make it a part of the $9.95-a-month SuperPass service. Of course, the marketing of such a service would be a challenge, because most of BBC’s multimedia content is already available free on its own network of sites, but according to the source, BBC will create original and interactive content for this service, a digital news channel of sorts, perhaps on the lines of ABC News Live. If that happens, it will be the first TV channel to have orginal content for online users….most of the others just re-purpose TV content, or add raw footage.

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