Around 10 series to be available to buy

The BBC and Apple have agreed to a pioneering deal that enables users to download high-profile fare like “Life on Mars” via iTunes for £1.89 ($3.70) an episode.

Tuesday’s pact between the company’s commercial division, BBC Worldwide, and Apple marks the first time a U.K. broadcaster has made its content available on iTunes.

Ten series, including “Little Britain” and “Robin Hood,” are available on the U.K. iTunes store for viewing on a PC or Mac computer, video-enabled iPod, iPhone or via Apple TV.

Recently aired shows like “Ashes to Ashes,” the follow-up to “Life on Mars,” will be made available once they have run on the BBC iPlayer on-demand catch-up service.

Simon Danker, director of digital media at BBC Worldwide, said, “We want to give audiences a wide variety of options on how and where to view their favorite BBC shows.”

Eddy Cue, Apple’s VP of iTunes, added, “Television programming has been incredibly popular with iTunes customers in the U.K.”

The move marks the first time the BBC has asked British auds to pay to download content, and the results will be watched with interest by privately funded rivals.

The iPlayer is doing boffo business since it was relaunched on Dec. 25, with more than 3.5 million shows streamed or downloaded within the first two weeks.

BBC Worldwide is collaborating with Channel 4 and ITV to launch an on-demand broadband TV initiative provisionally titled Kangaroo and due to bow later this year.

The BBC already runs download-to-rent and download-to-own services in the U.S.

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