Project Barcelona to see BBC open archive for downloads
Published: 14th Mar 2012 19:14:07
BBC director general Mark Thompson has announced proposals allowing viewers to permanently download copies of their favourite shows from the archives.
Mr Thompson said the plan - named Project Barcelona - would enable the purchase of programmes to own for a "relatively modest" fee.
He added that the digital archive would stay open for good, and shows would remain available to licence fee payers.
The plans will be put before the BBC Trust later this year.
Mr Thompson, who was speaking at the Royal Television Society (RTS) in London, said that the UK's producers would also need to give their support to the project.
He said that the BBC intended to open up a "digital shop" for programme downloads, but that other existing providers would also be able to buy the content.
Mr Thompson added that more and more programmes from the archive would be added to the service.
He described the scheme as the "digital equivalent" of people buying a DVD of their favourite programme for a permanent collection. Many of the programmes would not have previously been available to own.
The BBC's boss also said that the project would provide a source of income to support independent programme production in the UK, and denied it was a "second licence fee by stealth".
Media commentator Steve Hewlett said: "Other broadcasters could be concerned about the service's impact.
"When it launched, iPlayer was extremely disruptive to emerging paid-for content models because it was free at the point of use. People will be asking whether Project Barcelona will have a similar effect on the market."
Mr Hewlett added: "The BBC's archive programmes - like Fawlty Towers and Doctor Who - already represent a significant commercial revenue stream in the form of DVDs and downloads on services like iTunes.
"If it is going to open up the broader archive, then it would naturally expect people to pay for access."
Project Barcelona is viewed as another part of a strategy to give access to the BBC's programmes, which the corporation has been pursuing for the past decade.
It follows on from the iPlayer and YouView - a free-to-air, web-based service joining the BBC with other providers including Channel 4 and ITV.
At 12:56:39 in SportDidcot shooter Dan Rivers says he is "excited" to have been named in England's Commonwealth games squad for this summer's event in Glasgow.
At 12:56:00 in SportDavid Moyes has thanked Sir Alex Ferguson for giving him the chance to manage Manchester United.
At 12:55:30 in EnglandThe brother of a man killed in a helicopter crash spoke of his family's "five years of heartache" as he called for the operator to be prosecuted.
At 12:52:13 in Northern IrelandAn independent elections watchdog has warned there is only two weeks left for voters to register to be eligible to vote in the local government and European elections on 22 May.
At 12:51:49 in SportLaunceston assistant coach and former captain Tom Rawlings is leaving the club after criticising the process for appointing a new coaching team.
At 12:50:55 in SportJason Quigley has announced he is turning professional - six months after becoming the first Irishman to reach a final at the World Championships.
At 12:49:39 in HeadlinesEx-News of the World chief Andy Coulson has said he did not "cover anything up" following the arrest of the paper's royal editor Clive Goodman in 2006.
At 12:45:42 in ScotlandParents of babies whose ashes were disposed of without their knowledge have said they were "stunned" to learn a report into the scandal was handed over last week.
At 12:44:32 in WalesSupporters of gay marriage should be patient if they want the blessing of the Church in Wales, its archbishop has said.
At 12:43:19 in BusinessNearly two-thirds of people have never switched energy supplier, according to a survey for the energy regulator, Ofgem.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Project Barcelona to see BBC open archive for downloads [Online] (Updated 14th Mar 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1416458/Project-Barcelona-to-see-BBC-open-archive-for-downloads [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
An independent elections watchdog has warned there is only two weeks left for voters to register to be eligible to vote in the local government and European elections on 22 May.
Didcot shooter Dan Rivers says he is "excited" to have been named in England's Commonwealth games squad for this summer's event in Glasgow.
The Hull Truck theatre has received £400,000 in emergency grants to help it out of financial crisis.
Eight major renewable energy projects, expected to support 8,500 jobs, have been given government approval.
The director of care at a children's hospice has been cleared of professional misconduct over the way she dealt with a dying teenager.
A plan by the New York Police Department to use Twitter to boost its image seems to have backfired.