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BBC iPlayer iPad App Debuts In 11 Territories

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, announced the launch of its global iPlayer service with an iPad app being potentially the first of many to come to market.

iPlayer will be available in 11 countries in Western Europe in what is described as a one-year trial, with three other countries, US, Canada and Australia, likely to follow towards the end of the year.

Initially, the service will be free and financed by pre-roll adverts and sponsorships but this will revert to a paid-for subscription package which will cost $7.99 or €6.99 (£6.14) a month or €49.99 a year, a saving of more than 40 per cent.

Interestingly, the iPad version for BBC Worldwide is different from the one available in the UK. The former allows shows to be streamed over 3G and Wi-Fi and adds the ability to download content to the iPad for offline viewing. managing director Luke Bradley-Jones was keen to highlight to the Guardian, the fact that the service was not sold as a catch-up service as it is the case in the UK, but as a full video-on-demand service which will offer content from the past 30 days but also "the best from the [BBC] catalogue" going back to 50 to 60 years.

The BBC says that around 1500 hours of content will be available at launch and that roughly 1200 hours will be added every year to that library.