BBC Worldwide has announced that it will be partnering with Blinkbox Entertainment Limited to distribute 75 BBC shows including the likes of Planet Earth and Top Gear worldwide.
The company which was launched in 2008 managed to grab the rights to 300 hours of programming for an undisclosed sum in an auction; The majority of the BBC shows will be broadcasted for free and will be supported by advertising while with a select few available on demand (as download-to own) for as much as £1.89.
The shows will be shown on Blinkbox 180 days after they have been shown on the BBC in the UK. It will face a number of competitors in the UK who will be distributing BBC content as well as material from other broadcasters.
BBC has already partnered with a number of companies like Virgin, Sony (through the PSN platform) and, Microsoft (and the Xbox 360 and MSN Player) to distribute its content on demand while maintaining its own hugely popular iPlayer website.
Blinkbox has quietly grown its portfolio by adding Warner Bros, Sony Pictures Television International, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Studios and Paramount Pictures. An additional 15 "leading" independent TV production companies have also joined its content distribution roster.
Michael Comish, chief executive and co-founder of UK-based Blinkbox, said in a statement that "There's been a lot of hype around foreign companies coming to the UK, to fill the void left by Kangaroo. The reality is the void has already been filled by a home-grown service: Blinkbox. We are UK-based, UK-financed and UK-staffed."
Crave has highlighted some disadvantages of Blinkbox. It is stupidly expensive, comes wrapped in several layers of DRM, can only be watched on a PC (no Linux or Mac or mobile support) and you won't be able to stream the content no a media device like the popular Popcorn Hour.