It's been a few years since we've heard anything about the BBC offering its content to American viewers via streaming. However, yesterday, the BBC's director general Tony Hall confirmed that the British Broadcasting Corporation finally has made plans to move forward with streaming its content in the U.S.
When the BBC iPlayer first came out in 2007, Americans quickly clambered to request that the iPlayer make its way to the U.S. Industry insiders speculated that the iPlayer would launch in the U.S. in 2011, but the BBC never made that happen after U.S. cable providers threatened to drop BBC America from their line-ups if the BBC made the iPlayer available in the U.S.
BBC America became a viable British content provider, but as most Anglophiles know, most of the BBC's programming never makes it across the pond, leaving Americans seeking out that content elsewhere, often with illegal downloads.
Earlier this year, BBC Worldwide announced that it was canceling the BBC Global iPlayer permanently, leaving global BBC audiences without a way to access their favorite British television series. But all was not lost, because the BBC did mention that it would come up with an alternative.
Now, though, it seems the BBC finally has plans to commit to offering streaming content in the U.S., although there is probably still the hurdle of opposition by cable companies to traverse. But Hall announced that the U.S. can expect the capability of streaming BBC programming as early as next year.
"Over the next few years, we intend to work with global partners to grow Worldwide further, taking advantage of the demand for British programming and new digital opportunities," said Hall as reported by The Hollywood Reporter. "Next year, we're launching a new OTT video service in America offering BBC fans programs they wouldn't otherwise get."
However Hall didn't mention a few things: the price of the service, the name of the service or an exact launch date.