BBC Trust Releases Provisional Conclusions of Review of Syndication Policy for VOD Programming

--Programs Should Be Syndicated "Only...Through the BBC iPlayer," Requests for Bespoke Versions of the iPlayer "Should Generally Be Refused"

BBC governing body, the BBC Trust, has released provisional conclusions from a review it is conducting of the corporation's syndication policy for on-demand programs. It is now seeking feedback on those provisional conclusions via a four-week public consultation that kicked off Wednesday. The Trust describes the provisional conclusions as follows:

"1) BBC on-demand content should only be syndicated to other operators through the BBC iPlayer. This means that, for example, a satellite TV operator could not choose to take only certain BBC programs or episodes of programs to offer through its own on-demand service.
2) The BBC should develop several standard versions of the iPlayer that can be used by other platform operators and providers, to enable them to offer BBC on-demand content on their platforms.
3) Requests for 'bespoke' versions of the iPlayer for use by single platforms or devices should generally be refused, except in exceptional circumstances where the BBC's costs for development and maintenance would also be fully reimbursed."

In a prepared statement, BBC Trustee, Diane Coyle, outlined the thinking behind the Trust's provisional conclusions: "As the number of platforms and the popularity of on-demand TV grows, ensuring that license fee payers have convenient access to all the BBC's services on-demand is vital to the BBC's ability to fulfill its public purposes. Since the iPlayer first launched in 2007, watching programs this way has become a routine part of many people's viewing habits. But we know that audiences get the most out of BBC programs when they access them in a context that is consistent, familiar, distinctive and free to air, like the iPlayer. Our provisional conclusions reflect the importance of delivering programs in this trusted public space."

More information on the public consultation on the BBC's on-demand syndication policy is available here.

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