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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 (opens in new tab), 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.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.