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The nature of TV is constantly changing, but as more and more people invest in binge-watching services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and others, the networks are looking for ways to catch up. Recently, BBC Director General Tony Hall made a statement noting that he would like to get the BBC into the binge-watching game. Here’s what he had to say:
I now want to experiment with the BBC issuing bigger and bolder series all at once on iPlayer, so viewers have the option of ‘binge watching’.
The BBC is looking to expand its reach with its VOD service called iPlayer, which is mentioned in the quote. When it was first introduced, the iPlayer helped the BBC to find a market in the streaming arena, but currently episodes of TV shows are only available for 30 days after they first air, according to The Independent. Now that binge-watching has become an increasingly prominent market, the BBC wants to get into the game. However, this is complicated by the fact that the BBC doesn’t own all of its programming and offering to let fans binge-watch could have an affect on the monetary value of the shows that currently rely on second-run outlets to syndicate the programs and earn additional money.
Clearly, getting into the binge-watching market could be a mess, but it seems as if the BBC wants to attempt to get into the international streaming market by aping the habits of the biggest streaming services out there. While this could have pros and cons, it’s hard to tell whether or not it will ultimately be a success before the attempt is made. The BBC isn’t the only company looking to experiment with binge-watching. NBC made its new series Aquarius available to stream right after the first episode aired this spring. And US cable channel TNT did the same thing with Public Morals this weekend.
The BBC has had some programming problems over the last several years. The company has been facing budget cuts and has taken some criticism for the quality of its programming in the short term. This became even more apparent last spring when the channel dealt with some controversy surrounding Jeremy Clarkson and the Top Gear guys, eventually culminating in the firing of the Top Gear cast and replacing them with British TV and radio host Chris Evans.
Obviously, the BBC is still a huge name in television, known for producing such hit programs as Doctor Who and Wolf Hall. Now, they seem to want to be a big player in streaming services, too. We’ll let you know how this story develops.