TV Producers Will Oppose BBC iPlayer For UK Travelers

Independent television producers have vowed to block making BBC iPlayer accessible to UK license payers whilst abroad, just hours after BBC director-general Mark Thompson announced the intention.

This has not been agreed with the BBC and we will resist this,” John McVay, CEO of the sector’s trade group Pact, told paidContent:UK.

“The terms of trade DO NOT allow for the iPlayer to be accessed outside of the UK as this cuts across the commercial rights of independent producers.”

In 2004, Pact brokered terms of trade with the BBC as a template for commissioning contracts.

In 2006, an additional agreement concerning video on-demand was struck which allows producers to commercialise their own programmes through VOD aggregators after an initial period of BBC exclusivity.

But that agreement concerns rights “in the UK”. Even if the BBC develops a way to authenticate UK license payers whilst they are overseas, this could stretch the limits of the agreement…

Indeed, the TV rights business is highly dependent on windowing on a national boundary basis. That’s why iPlayer can only be accessed in the UK.

Thompson appeared to acknowledge the potential niggle when he announced the idea in his MacTaggart Lecture at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival on Friday night: “It