Shows will be available for 30 days after broadcast
LONDON — The BBC’s video-on-demand service has been greenlit, but with some restrictions.The Beeb’s iPlayer, a key part of the pubcaster’s new-media strategy, has been provisionally approved by the BBC Trust, which assessed whether the initiative is in the public interest. Under the proposal, auds will be able to watch shows online or download them up to 30 days following the original broadcast. The BBC had asked for this period to be 13 weeks after first transmission. Restrictions also have been put on the type of shows that can be made available as a complete series — so-called “series stacking” — because of fears over secondary rights. The BBC Trust ruled series stacking should be allowed only for programs “with a distinct run, with a beginning and end, and a narrative arc, or those that are landmark series with exceptionally high impact.” Thus auds are likely to be able to download the award-winning “Bleak House” in its entirety, but bulk downloads of a show such as the long-running soap “EastEnders” or science docu series “Horizon” are ruled out. Final approval for the service is expected by the spring.