March 16, 2012
BBC Unveils Project Barcelona
BBC programming is popular around the world with cult classics like Skins and Dr. Who playing on televisions and computers everywhere. The BBC recognized the need for access to its current and archived programming that is user friendly and widely available. Though the station currently uses the BBC iPlayer to post videos and episodes online, the company is currently developing a program like iTunes to satisfy viewers.
"On television, despite all of our existing forms of public service archival and commercial windowing, the overwhelming majority of what the BBC commissions and broadcasts become unavailable when that iPlayer window expires," BBC General Direction Mark Thompson told reporters
. "We want to change that."
“Project Barcelona” is the code name for the download service that the BBC is currently working on. Customers have two choices to permanently download any content available on the network. The first is to purchase and download the programs directly to any computer or phone. The second is to subscribe to online streaming that is available permanently online.
Some viewers feel the fees are unfair considering that U.K. residents already pay an annual fee for owning a television. This money pays for BBC programming. However, Thompson justifies the decision in the most obvious manner; it’s the same as purchasing a physical DVD of the show.
"This is not a second license-fee by stealth or any reduction in the current public service offering from the BBC,” he said. “For decades the British public have understood the distinction between watching Dad’s Army on BBC One and then going out to buy a permanent copy of it."
Though there is worldwide interest in Project Barcelona, the service will only be available in the U.K. at first. The BBC iPlayer was originally only available in the U.K., but debuted worldwide last year, so anglophiles may have access to the service in the future.
Edited by Rich Steeves
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