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BBC Launches iPlayer iPad App in Europe With Subscription Fee

The Beeb announced late last night that its iPlayer TV streaming app for iPad would be breaking free of its UK exclusivity and heading to Europe.

European TV lovers rejoice! You’ll be able to stream BBC shows on a catch-up basis using the free iPad app which is available from the App Store right now.

When the BBC announced plans for a subscription-based iPlayer service for European customers back in March, they promised that the fee would be less than $10 per month, and it would seem they have remained true to their word. Customers in 11 European countries will be able to subscribe to the service for €6.99 per month, or €49.99 for a year. You’ll be able to view some free content as well, though there will be adverts to counteract the freebie.

Customers in the 11 new European countries will even get a couple of new features that weren’t introduced to the UK version of the iPad app, such as 3G streaming and access to a back catalogue of shows. Shows such as Fawlty Towers, Only Fools and Horses and Doctor Who will be uploaded for streaming on the Apple iPad and iPad 2 if you’re a subscriber. There will also be some content from ITV and Channel 4, though it hasn’t been clarified exactly what will be on offer yet.

“We think this should be about the best of the BBC and British creativity,” said Jana Bennett, president of worldwide networks at the group. “This is a pilot – we want to learn more about on-demand behaviour.”

If you’re situated in any of the following countries then you’re in luck, you’ll be able to get the BBC iPlayer app for iPad:

Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Republic of Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland

Auntie looks set to take on the world with the mighty iPlayer, as it looks set to launch the iPlayer app in the US, Canada and Australia later in the year.

See the full Press Release below:

[spoiler]BBC Worldwide Brings Best of British TV to European Fans with the BBC iPlayer App for iPad

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BBC Worldwide, the BBC’s commercial arm, is from today offering audiences across Europe the first-ever opportunity to delve into a digital mix of classic and contemporary British TV programming with the launch of the new global BBC iPlayer app, available exclusively on iPad www.bbc.com/iplayer/tv.

“Based on the soaring success of the UK’s pioneering BBC iPlayer service, the app combines technical innovation with editorial creativity to transport users to the heart of the BBC and British television and on a journey of discovery, wherever and whenever they want”

This brand-new video on demand subscription service, launching first in Western Europe, will deliver the award-winning programming upon which the BBC’s history and heritage is built, to viewers in 11 markets. For €6.99 a month (or €49.99 for an annual subscription), the app will initially be available in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Republic of Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.

Subscribers will be able to access a rich selection of captivating English language programmes across eight genres: News Specials & Documentaries; Entertainment; Drama; Comedy; Science & Nature; Family & Kids; Music & Culture and Lifestyle. The app brings together classic comedies such as Fawlty Towers and Only Fools & Horses, thrilling drama series Sherlock, Luther and much loved Pride and Prejudice, recent episodes of the UK’s famous soap EastEnders, global motoring phenomenon Top Gear, the Doctor Who archive and the adorable children’s show Charlie & Lola. Hours of new programming will be added to the service every week, along with imaginatively themed collections curated from the BBC’s extensive archive, including David Attenborough and the story of the Royal Family.

Designed to be intuitive and easy-to-use, a key feature of the app allows subscribers both to stream and to download shows for offline viewing for when they can’t access Wi-Fi connectivity. The stylish and simple interface enables users to build a personal library of shows.

John Smith CEO BBC Worldwide said: “I’m proud that we’re one of the first international broadcasters to give access to our shows in a perfectly packaged app. This launch is an important route to market in our strategy of pursuing multiple platforms for our programmes and brands, taking British programmes to new digital audiences around the world. Today marks a significant next step on a digital journey that has already seen 12m BBC Worldwide apps downloaded across brands as diverse as Lonely Planet and Good Food.”

“Based on the soaring success of the UK’s pioneering BBC iPlayer service, the app combines technical innovation with editorial creativity to transport users to the heart of the BBC and British television and on a journey of discovery, wherever and whenever they want,” said Jana Bennett, BBC Worldwide President of Worldwide Networks and Global iPlayer “We have an exciting vision for what this service could become and will develop it based on feedback from within the markets.”

The global BBC iPlayer App is now available to download for free from the App Store in the launch markets on iPad at www.bbc.com/iplayer/tv.

The global version of the BBC iPlayer app launched today marks the start of a pilot phase for the service.[/spoiler]

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