BBC signs web deal with Microsoft

BBC press release verbatim:

The BBC and Microsoft Corp took a step toward strengthening their working alliance yesterday when the two companies signed a non-exclusive memorandum of understanding.

The memorandum of understanding will define the framework within which the companies can explore opportunities for the delivery and consumption of BBC content and the evolution of next-generation broadcasting.

In Seattle, as part of a fact-finding tour of the US, BBC Director-General Mark Thompson and Director of New Media and Technology Ashley Highfield met Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates to officially sign the memorandum of understanding and discuss the BBC’s digital strategy.

This includes plans for its online archive, for a radically re-invented website in the web 2.0 world — a second generation of internet-based services — and for ways to share its online content in the future.

“We are currently witnessing unprecedented rates of change in technology and audience expectations,” Thompson said.

“To ensure that the BBC is able to embrace the creative challenges of the digital future, we need to forge strategic partnerships with technology companies and distributors for the benefit of licence payers.”

“Microsoft’s strength is in driving digital innovation, and our vision is to open up rich, new consumer experiences that allow people to enjoy digital content anytime, anywhere and on any device,” Gates said.

“This vision fits squarely with the BBC’s charter to lead the industry in delivering content that is compelling and accessible. I’m delighted that we’re taking this important step, and I look forward to working together to develop new models for content delivery and consumption.”

“Microsoft is not just a key supplier to the BBC, it is also a key gateway to audiences that the BBC needs to reach through web services it runs like MSN and Windows Live Messenger, and hardware such as Xbox and the Windows Media Center,” Highfield said.

“The BBC needs to work with all players in this space to make sure our programmes and content are enjoyed by the widest possible audience, without always having to come to to find it.

“The learnings from our US visit will very much inform our thinking on the BBC’s creative future.”

The memorandum of understanding aims to identify areas of common interest between the BBC and Microsoft on which a strategic alliance could be developed.

Areas of potential investigation and collaboration include search and navigation, distribution, and content enablement.

Any actual procurements of new technology, or launch of new services by the BBC, would be subject to appropriate regulatory approval.

Press release link here.


  1. “Microsoft’s strength is in driving digital innovation . . .”

    Driving it where? Straight to hell, no handbasket required?

    If Microsoft continues to innovate digitally, binary code will soon have three patented, proprietary digits each one a six.

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”sick” style=”border:0;” />

  2. So the Beeb bends over for the final time. “How the mighty have fallen” is an understatement of titanic proportions.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if NBC, a little-known subsidiary of MSNBC, buys it, and the World Service turns into DRM’d 60-minute reruns of “How Congress Works,” with Ralph Reed and color man Jack Abramoff — in 60 languages. So much for empire.

  3. bbc are a total joke

    license payers being ripped off with lame repeats and shit shows

    digital channels that cost millions and have less than a thousand viewers

    screw em

    i totally resent paying a fee for something i don’t watch

    channel 4 is prob the best uk channel right now and that’s commercial

  4. “Microsoft’s strength is in driving digital innovation”

    too funny

    innovation and microsuck in the same sentence is just too damn funny for words

    their only innovations are in underhand business practices and avoiding responsibility for user’s problems

  5. As an ageing Brit living in Berlin my long-held admiration for the BBC’s World Service has been slowly crumbling over the last five years or so.
    It started with their adoption of slick American-like delivery which includes something the old BBC never used to do: blowing its own trumpet.
    For example, they use to announce: ‘This is the BBC’ in a normal matter-of-fact way.
    Now we get an over-emotional, melodramatic delivery: THIS is the BEE BEE CEEEE. It’s not even well-done melodrama – i.e. the Americans do it better.

    Parallel to this, from what I can gather from their tech programmes and so on the old lovable ‘Auntie’ is almost 100% Windows orientated – and that ain’t lovable.

    The once lovable, fragrantly-scented old auntie is turning into a stinking old whore!

  6. I don’t mind paying a license fee, the bbc comes up with some good shows. BBC1 is crap but 2, 3 & 4 come up with some interesting stuff. I also make listen to their radio offerings every day. That said, it pisses me off that their media offerings are all windows media or real player, they’re not even drm’ed or anything, you can view those on a Mac – they’re just not very good quality.

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