BBC Plans To Simulcast Channels Online

from the rabbit-ears-for-your-PC dept

The BBC’s has moved a lot more quickly than most broadcasters to embrace new technologies, partly thanks to its non-advertising-centric business model. Earlier this year, it attracted the ire of record labels by making Beethoven’s symphonies available for download as way to introduce people to classical music, and its also started debuting some TV shows online before they’re shown over the air. Based on the success of the downloadable shows — as well as the massive interest in a leaked episode of Doctor Who — the BBC’s director of television says the company is planning to simulcast its TV networks on the web, as well as put additional video content to accompany shows (bugmenot required) online. This is also in addition to its media player that will let people watch the last week’s worth of programs online. Too few broadcasters understand that they should be taking steps to make their content more accessible to people in whatever format and on whatever device they want to use, and devote resources to evolving their business model to accomodate that, rather than trying to figure out ways to block it.

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Comments on “BBC Plans To Simulcast Channels Online”

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Mark says:

This is the BBC jumping the gun somewhat

It’s unfortunate that the BBC feel the need to spend money on bandwidth simulcasting to a fairly niche subset of its audience when it still hasn’t got around to providing digital terrestrial to the not insubstantial number of homes that still cannot receive it. It’s also worth remembering that the BBC’s venture into digital was only possible because of the failure of a commercial player to get the model to work correctly (by paying far too much for soccer rights). License fee payer’s would be better served by the BBC letting the commercial players get burned first rather than insist on gambling with money that could be better spent on a potentially higher return project (in terms of uk education for example) like the digital curriculum.
It’s also a moot point that it is likely that not much more than 50% of UK households will get internet access of any kind let alone broadband or its replacement variants. It’s indicative of the BBC’s general attitude to the majority of its license fee payers – “hey we are committed to allowing all and sundry internet access to our content around the globe at the expense of program making”. BBC Tech Direction (the BBC’s “blue sky” thinking department) have got the ear of the DG and will do all the politicking they can to justify this highly risky and expensive pioneering into the unknown at the expense of the traditional content producers who are in the process of being “outsourced” to the independent sector to get the cost down.
Agreed that some online projects have been a critical success such as the radio player (forgoing the criticism of the relationship with Real on the player), but again we hit the issue of penetration into the uk audience and whether the cost justifies the audience. Government committees are sceptical themselves but senior management at the BBC seem hell bent on an internet based digital future as soon as possible at all costs and this is extremely worrying as it’s behaving like an aggressive start-up organisation with lots of VC money to burn which it certainly hasn’t. Don’t get me started on the plans to move regionally (half a billion on a new centre in Manchester for sport when the Olympics will be in London in 2012? – jeez)
This announcment will get a huge amount of positve response from primarily non uk license fee holders who will want this model to be available for themselves (without the license) which simply will never happen. Sadly all this positive press will simply make Senior BBC management even more bullish than they are already about the internet and related technologies – definitely not a good thing in the long run.

Anonymous of Course says:

Re: This is the BBC jumping the gun somewhat

The beeb discontinued all short wave service to NA a while back. The world service is still audible but it’s not the same programming. I have a crappy dial-up line from home an no other options unless I install a remote satellite link. Bah! since The Brain Of Britain show ended there’s not much worth listening to anyway. I love the internet, but is it a proper substitute for radio brodcasting… not yet!

rich says:

Re: Re: This is the BBC jumping the gun somewhat

BBC Radio 4 is now broadcasting Brain of Brit 2005. (Usual time, Monday, 1:30pm & repeated Sat. 11pm) Has world service stopped broadcasting it? They used to play the tapes a few weeks behind radio 4. I was hoping to catch the 2nd programme on world service as I missed it on radio 4. I live in Ireland & for best reception I listen on Sky digital, although we can normally hear it in the car on 198kHz long wave, except when there’s cricket on (can’t get good FM signal here). The cricket made me miss that 2nd week in mid August, & I was out Saturday night, and made a mistake programming my cassette recorder!

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