BBC Reported to Be in Talks to Offer iPlayer Video-on-Demand Service on YouTube

--Service Would Be Available Internationally

UK newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, citing "sources close to the negotiations," reports that BBC director general, Mark Thompson, is in talks with Google chairman and CEO, Eric Schmidt, about launching an international version of the BBC's online VOD catch-up service, the BBC iPlayer (allows viewers to watch BBC shows for up to a week after their linear-TV broadcast), that would be "supported in some way" by YouTube and that could be accessed internationally (note: the BBC iPlayer is currently geo-restricted to users in the UK) free-of-charge. However, the newspaper says that "the process has been mired" by the need for international rights clearance for the BBC's programs, many of which are produced by third parties. "There are a significant number of obstacles to extending this commercially to other countries, including international rights clearance," a BBC spokesperson told the Telegraph. "These obstacles present significant difficulties and for this reason there are no firm plans for a specific international BBC iPlayer, but audiences can watch BBC content outside the UK through numerous BBC Worldwide content deals with online partners such as iTunes." A YouTube spokesperson contacted by the newspaper also refused to confirm--or deny--that discussions about an international iPlayer are ongoing. The Telegraph also reports that separate negotiations are underway between YouTube and BBC Worldwide, the corporation's commercial arm, to make the BBC's archive content (for which the international licenses are already in place) available on YouTube in its entirety, following a recent content deal between the two parties that will see BBC Worldwide making a selection of its full-length programming available on the video-sharing platform.