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BBC gets OK for Online On-Demand

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Following in the path of successful online offerings from commercial providers, the state-regulated BBC has received approval from its operating trust to begin an online on-demand service, offering broadcast shows without commercials for up to a week after their original airing date.

While it might seem like baby steps compared to other broadcasters’ online offerings, the so-called catch-up services have proved to be some of the most-watched offerings from other IPTV providers, especially in Europe. Italian IPTV provider Fastweb saw more than a million downloads of its catch-up service in the half-year after its launch, showing that allowing people to watch that regularly scheduled program they missed is right now more popular than user-generated content or video-on-demand movies.

According to the BBC Trust, more than 10,000 viewers and companies offered comments during the “Public Value Test,” the delightfully British way to say “beta.” More formality for when the viewer will be available: “The proposed launch date for BBC iPlayer will be announced in due course.” Brilliant!