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BBC’s global version of iPlayer launches in Australia

Wednesday 28 Sep 2011
The BBC’s iPlayer has launched in Australia, ABC News reports.

Usually, the service allows British viewers to watch live TV or “catch-up TV” – the term for watching shows which recently aired. The ABC has a similar service called iView which is now the third most popular section of ABC Online (and is growing, fast). Both, however, only allow access to people based within the host country.

The new global iPlayer uses a commercial model (unusual for a public-funded broadcaster) and will only serve as a Video On Demand service. It will ultimately provide access to the bulk of the BBC’s massive television archives, with over 1,000 hours being available at launch and “hours” of additional footage being “regularly added”.

Subscriptions will cost A$9.49 (US$9.35) per month or A$89.99 (US$88.70) per year. The first 10 hours are free.

The new version is exclusive to iPad although new platforms will be catered for later.

This global variant of iPlayer is being used as a pilot in Australia while the BBC gauges usage and demand before releasing it in larger territories like the United States. The global iPlayer has previously been running in various Western European countries, where it launched in July.