Global BBC iPlayer coming to iPhone, iPod touch on Thursday

6 Dec 2011

The iPhone 4S

BBC Worldwide will extend its global BBC iPlayer service to the iPhone and iPod touch from this Thursday, after piloting the service in countries outside of the UK on the iPad.

The video-on-demand service was initially brought to the iPad in countries across Europe, including the Republic of Ireland, and has since arrived in Australia and Canada. It will be brought to the iPhone and iPod touch to viewers in the same regions, giving an international audience access to an archive of BBC TV content.

“The global BBC iPlayer has seen great growth since the pilot first launched in July – both in terms of geographical expansion and technological developments,” said John Smith, chief executive of BBC Worldwide.

“Moving to iPhone and iPod touch allows us to take the service to a significant new potential audience and deliver fantastic programme content from the BBC and the UK’s creative industry,” he said.

Jana Bennett, president of Worldwide Networks and Global BBC iPlayer at the BBC, spoke about the platform at the Digital TV Summit this morning.

“This platform extension shows how global iPlayer isn’t just about moving TV to tablet devices, it’s also about a mobile strategy – about truly getting TV everywhere in a way that it hasn’t been before,” said Bennett.

“We also want the global BBC iPlayer to be truly representative of the whole gamut of British creative output, to represent everything that is great about British content – not just the Best of British TV but the Best of British Culture,” she said.

Expanding BBC iPlayer

From January, the global BBC iPlayer will also host external content supplied by DRG to subscribers in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. This content includes episodes of Peep Show, Father Ted, Shameless and Black Books.

In January, it will get two new categories – Music and Arts and Culture. Bennett also spoke of plans to add selected programmes from BBC radio to the global iPlayer service.