Last week at the Royal Television Society (RTS) convention in England, BBC general director Tony Hall made a big announcement: The BBC will take advantage of the overseas demand for British programming, by launching a Netflix-style streaming service in the US next year.
This is one of several initiatives the BBC is planning in order to raise more revenue internationally, at a time when public funding in Britain is under pressure. “We need to raise commercial income to supplement the license fee so we can invest as much as possible in content for U.K. audiences,” Hall told the RTS audience.
As for the service itself, few details have been spilled. Hall told The Hollywood Reporter, “this service will offer BBC fans shows they couldn’t otherwise get access to, showcasing British actors, our program makers, and our culture.”
Remember the BBC iPlayer? This launched in 2007, and many Americans requested that it make its way across the seas, but it never did due to backlash from US cable providers. And then there was the BBC Global iPlayer, which wasn’t available to us either (and is now seemingly closed)? We’ve been starved of British content for too long, but this alternative service sounds like a good fit.
There are no details yet on pricing, launch date, or name of the service, so you’ll have to stay tuned for more news in the coming months.
What British TV show will you most look forward to binge watching via this new streaming service? Let us know in the comments below.