This might prove controversial — TV drama series Damages, which started airing on BBC One on Sunday, is being made available for download on iTunes Store… at £1.89 per episode. Despite iPlayer having launched, after an agreement with UK independent producers, to give access to hundreds of hours of free shows from the last week, it’s clear the BBC has not been able to convince all suppliers to come aboard. This 13-part legal drama starring Glenn Close is from Sony (NYSE: SNE) Pictures Television (SPTI), which has made the first episode available for free on the TV section of the UK iTunes Store and will start charging for the remaining 12. Each will go live just one day after transmission. Accordingly, as Pocket-lint points out, there’s no trace of Damages on iPlayer.
The series rights were bought by BBC series acquisition head Sue Deeks last summer, Digital Spy reported previously, at which point there seems to have been little evidence of so-called “360-degree” multimedia commissioning. The BBC has no relationship of its own with iTunes. When commercial download service Kangaroo launches this year, it will sell shows older than seven days – but the sight of a BBC show for sale just 24 hours after the credits roll is a victory for SPTI and a blow for consistency.