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Rest of the world to get BBC iPlayer for IPad

The BBC is planning to release an international version of its iPlayer App for iPad.

The TV catch-up service - which is free for UK residents (or at least those with a UK IP address) whether or not they have coughed up the £142.50 annual licence fee - will soon be available all over the world. But access to the world's favourite television network will come at a cost.

The corporation's director general Mark Thompson told attendees at the FT Digital Media & Broadcasting conference in London today that iPlayer would be available on Apple's tablet device "definitely this year", and for "a small number of dollars per month, definitely fewer than 10."

Thompson said that the BBC was currently exploring international pricing models that would allow programming to be sold directly to consumers, although we're assuming that even the BBC will have to pay Apple 30 per cent of any dosh it generates through iTunes sales.

And it's not just the iPad that's getting in on the action. The Beeb is also eyeing other mobile devices for inclusion in the iPlayer family.

"I believe that there’s a strong case for the UK’s broadcasters, mobile phone operators, Ofcom and government to come together to develop a roadmap for the introduction of mobile TV in this country,” Thompson added.

"This would be complementary to the availability of TV content on demand, whether streamed or cached on the device and would enable the public to access time-critical content – news, major sports events and so on – wherever they are."

The BBC iPlayer offers access to some live broadcasts, a week's worth of 'catch-up' TV over its various channels, and a bulging archive of historical classics and oddities.

It seems like a smart move to us as, whenever we mention anything which can be watched on iPlayer we get a barrage of comments from non-UK readers complaining that they are being left out in the cold (or the warm if they come from sunnier climes).