BBC Prepares to Launch on-Demand Service

02 February 2007

LONDON: The independent body that regulates the BBC has given the go-ahead for the UK's publicly-funded broadcaster to offer viewers an online, on-demand catch-up service for its programs.

The BBC Trust's initial approval is tempered with certain restrictions which include a time limit of thirty days during which viewers can store programmes on their PCs, rather than the 13 weeks wanted by corporation executives.

To watch programmes online, viewers will have to download software known as an iPlayer.

The Trust said the on-demand plans - which also cover cable TV - were "likely to deliver significant public value". But it agreed with broadcast watchdog Ofcom that the iPlayer could have a "negative effect" on commercial rivals.

A proposal for a bookmark feature which would allow users to highlight a programme they wanted to watch ahead of transmission was also rejected by the Trust.

The new proposals will be open to public consultation until March 28 and a final decision is expected before May 2.

Data sourced from Brand Republic (UK); additional content by WARC staff