BBC to sell shows through Apple’s UK iTunes Store

Apple iTunesBBC Worldwide today announced that a selection of programming will now be available for purchase and download from the iTunes Store in the UK.

The BBC is the first UK broadcaster to offer television programmes on iTunes which can be purchased for £1.89 per episode and then viewed on a Mac or PC, iPod with video, iPhone, or Apple TV.

“We want to give audiences a wide variety of options on how and where to view their favourite BBC shows,” said Simon Danker, Director of Digital Media at BBC Worldwide, in the press release. “With more people now choosing to watch TV shows on their iPods, fans of series such as The Mighty Boosh and The Catherine Tate Show can now enjoy those shows wherever they are.”

“Television programming has been incredibly popular with iTunes customers in the UK,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes, in the press release. “We’re thrilled to add hit programming from the BBC with favourites including the latest ratings winner, Ashes to Ashes.”

Starting today, fans can get the latest Torchwood, Life On Mars, Little Britain, Spooks, Robin Hood and other BBC classics from iTunes to purchase episodes they may have missed or would like to see again. Recently aired programmes, such as Ashes to Ashes, will be available on iTunes after they have been made available on the BBC iPlayer.

Making BBC programming available on the iTunes Store is key to BBC Worldwide’s stated objective to secure the broadest possible distribution strategy for its huge range of television content.

Source: The Beeb

16 Comments

  1. It will be interesting to see how this pans out. When you consider how shows get repeated because of the extra channels the BBC has and how you can catch up for free with the iPlayer, it’s hard to see a big market for BBC downloads on iTunes.

    Admittedly you can only catch up with iPlayer for shows aired in the last 7 days if you use the streaming method or you have 30 days to watch a download (eventually on Mac too) but there is no charge. Some kind of rental service seems more appropriate for TV show downloads which we might watch once or twice, just like movies. If the Beeb offers a free 30 day window to watch for free then iTunes will have limited appeal.

    One feature in iTunes’ favour is the ability to watch shows on devices such as iPods, iPhones and Apple TV and iPlayer doesn’t offer that. Of course there will be some who will find iTunes convenient and suits their needs and there will also be some shows which won’t be on iPlayer so this deal is still good news but the price really needs to drop to about £1.

  2. But doesn’t the BBC iPlayer show them for free? And isn’t ‘The Mighty Boosh’ up to season 3 on DVD (bought it on Amazon and watched it last night!) rather than the season 2 on iTunes?

    I think I’ll still get them on DVD as family presents and as a backup, but download any missing episodes.

    P.S. if you love surreal British humour, you’ll love ‘The Mighty Boosh’…

  3. Agree with twenty,
    Why are you paying a license fee then paying full price for it again on iTunes?
    Why not some kind of discounted price if there has to be a charge?

    Since it is pay for, why the UK only?
    I would gladly pay for Spooks, Dr. Who, Torchwood and several other BBC shows instead of torrenting them as I do now.

  4. Doesn’t the iPlayer only allow you to view via a computer? iTunes copies of shows allow viewing on TV, iPod, iPhone AND you computer. If that is the case it would explain why there is a charge for buying. I wish we had the option to buy BBC shows in the U.S. — that’s what I thought this announcement meant. But, lo, no BBC listed in U.S. iTunes Store.

  5. It will be interesting to see how this pans out. When you consider how shows get repeated because of the extra channels the BBC has and how you can catch up for free with the iPlayer, it’s hard to see a big market for BBC downloads on iTunes.

    Surely same issue with DVDs, but yet the BBC sell lots of them.

    I hope that this becomes a great success.

  6. Twenty:
    You go to see the movie. You like it so much you pay again to get the DVD.

    Same thing as paying a license fee.
    You pay that so the show can get made and you don’t have to endure retarded commercial interruptions, then you pay again for the ability to watch it on the subway on your iPod.

    Seems fair to me.

  7. @ Top Gear
    I don’t pay for movies once and then have to pay a second time to view them. These BBC TV programmes have been financed by – and belong to – the British public.

    It’s like me trying to sell you your grandmother.

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