BBC Worldwide to air Doctor Who episodes on Facebook

12 Jul 2011

BBC Worldwide will venture into broadcasting programmes on Facebook, making selected episodes of Doctor Who available for rent from tomorrow in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Fans of the long-running sci-fi series will be able to rent a selection of nine stories containing a bundle of episodes each, totalling 29 episodes altogether.

Viewers can pay for stories using Facebook credits, which can be purchased within an app or through the payment tab within a user’s account settings. Each story will cost 15 credits and once rented, the episodes will be available to be watched for 48 hours.

Classic episodes, such as ‘Tomb of the Cybermen,’ will be digitally remastered for Facebook. Newer episodes, such as ‘Silence in the Library,’ will also be hosted on the social network.

‘The Greatest Show in the Galaxy,’ an older episode which has never been made available on DVD, will be uploaded as a Facebook exclusive. The latest series will not yet be available on the site.

“As we have grown internationally, we’ve seen through our Facebook channel that fans who are loving the new series are asking for a guide into our rich Doctor Who back catalogue,” said John Smith, CEO of BBC Worldwide in a statement.

“Our approach to Facebook and other leading-edge platforms is to be right there alongside them in fostering innovation. We see this service as a perfect way to give our fans what they want, as well as a great way for them to get their fix between now and the autumn when series 6 continues,” he said.

The Financial Times reports that episodes of the popular car show Top Gear could also follow Doctor Who onto Facebook.

“Millions of people engage with their favourite TV shows on Facebook every day and we’re now seeing broadcasters look at innovative ways to use Facebook tools to connect their fans with exclusive content,” said Christian Hernandez, director of Platform Partnerships for Facebook.

“Through its Facebook page, BBC Worldwide is giving Doctor Who fans a quick and easy way to access these iconic episodes.”