BBC worldwide will allow the on-demand site to stream content six months after it has aired. The news will be welcomed by viewers and should also give the Beeb an extra stream of income. The iPlayer currently holds all content for a week after original transmission, but without ad revenue, the corporation are unable to store content for longer – as Channel 4 do with their on-demand service 4OD Catch-up.
But the deal with the Beeb will not be exclusive as BBC Worldwide already has similar agreements with some of the company’s main competitors in the UK, including Virgin Media, BT Vision and BlinkBox.
Netflix is already well established in the United States and will be launching in the UK early next year and teh company have already signed a string of agreements in preparation. Film distributors Miramax, Lionsgate UK and MGM have already been agreed and Netflix is in talks with broadcasters including ITV and Channel 4.
Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix, said: “BBC programmes are a big favourite of our over 20 million streaming members in the US, Canada and Latin America. We are incredibly proud to make these high-quality programmes available to Netflix members in the UK and Ireland.”
Steve Macallister, managing director of sales and distribution at BBC Worldwide, said: “UK audiences have really grasped the experience that online viewing can bring, and our programming has proven to be particularly popular with this digital audience.”