Web: iPlayer goes International

With the possibility of the BBC iPlayer becoming internationally available, Killian Woods explains how lucky we areThose silly Brits. They come over here and take our land, oppress us for 800 years and then they give us 4 on Demand, otherwise known as 4oD, neatly wrapped on our doorstep with a bow and cherry on top. This service is so painstakingly efficient, we almost have to question if it is some sort of Trojan pony set to wreak havoc.With the introduction of 4oD to the internet, procrastination has become a hobby that is nearly too easy to practice. No longer are we required to search the internet for a torrent of new Inbetweeners episodes that don’t have Cantonese-dubbed sound or Korean subtitles. Now, it all just appears on 4oD minutes after being aired on Channel 4.In the Sky Plus era of television programming, the concept of offering TV shows online for free is just another method for revolutionising the way in which we watch our favourite shows. This catch-up approach of making television more readily available to its audience has been incorporated across the board by the likes of BBC, RTE and ITV amongst others.With the proposed launch of an international BBC iPlayer, many problems arise when these services are made widely available over the internet. The BBC, a corporation that lives off the funding from the British TV license, has little to gain from offering its iPlayer worldwide for free. Therefore, the British TV license payer will be picking up the tab for our privilege at being able to avail of the iPlayer.So if this move was to go ahead, we could add it to the long list of gracious things Britain offer us on a daily basis. It is thought that the International BBC iPlayer will be a glorified World Service, a service that is held in high regard by most, but questioned as to why British taxpayers should fund it.There are still numerous hurdles to be overcome before the BBC iPlayer is launched internationally. Will people have to pay to subscribe to the service, or will BBC do the unthinkable and include advertising slots in the player?Consequently, we can only hope that the BBC iPlayer becomes available online. However, if I were a British TV license payer, I wouldn’t want to be picking up the tab for someone in Switzerland watching the latest episode of Doctor Who.