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Google, BBC in Talks to Take iPlayer International

LONDON:For the past two years, Brits have had an easy way to catch up with BBC television and radio programming — BBC iPlayer. However, since the video-on-demand service is tied to the television license fees each TV set owner pays in the United Kingdom, it’s use internationally has been barred.

That could be changing if talks between the BBC and Google come to fruition. British newspaper The Telegraph is reporting that the broadcaster and the Internet giant are in talks to bring a global version of iPlayer to the world, powered by the Google-owned YouTube video service.

BBC iPlayer lets viewers stream programming for a week after it airs live, as well as download HD and SD programs to a computer or certain phones and portable media players.

BBC content is currently available in clip format on YouTube within the U.K., but not as full programs. Talks are also under way to bring full, archived BBC content to YouTube. The sticking point has been ensuring clearances for online, on-demand viewing. Earlier this year, an agreement was struck allowing YouTube to provide U.S. viewers a selection of BBC content in full.