BBC America Invades iTunes

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By Noah Davis Comment

itunesbbc.jpgThis morning, three of BBC America’s most popular shows, Robin Hood, Torchwood and Little Britain, became available. It’s the first time programs from the network can be downloaded to own.

Beth Clearfield, vice president of digital media and business development, BBC Worldwide America, who said she “was excited at 6 a.m. this morning,” was kind enough to answer some questions about the initiative.

Because of Britain’s complex usership laws, “There were a lot of clearance obstacles, specifically around music,” she told us when we asked whether getting the programs to iTunes was easy. “We’ve been talking to Apple for over a year to make this happen.”

“We wanted to launch with the right mix and the right titles,” she continued. “Robin Hood season 1 was a big hit and season 2 is just starting.”

In the future, she hopes to get more titles in the mix. “Apple’s gone out of their way to help make this happen and we have the same ideas about what we’d like to see next,” she said. Stay tuned… for the release after the jump.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BBC BRINGS PROGRAMS TO ITUNES STORE IN U.S.

U.S. fans get passport to go anywhere with Robin Hood, Torchwood and Little Britain

NEW YORK — Tuesday, April 29, 2008 — BBC today announced that for the first time BBC AMERICA programming will be available for purchase and download from the iTunes Store in the U.S. (www.itunes.com).

Making BBC programming available on the iTunes Store is key to the strategy of BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, in securing the broadest possible distribution for its huge range of television content. This new offering allows BBC AMERICA’s viewers to further engage with the channel’s hit shows and delivers highly addictive programming to a new audience.

“BBC is delighted to provide U.S. audiences with the unique ability to purchase and download select award-winning BBC AMERICA programming on the iTunes Store,” said Beth Clearfield, Vice President of Digital Media and Business Development, BBC Worldwide America. “As the first U.K. broadcaster available in the U.S., BBC is leveraging its trusted international brand in entertainment to provide our audiences with a first-rate digital experience.”

Starting today on iTunes, customers can purchase single episodes and complete seasons of BBC AMERICA’s hit sci-fi series Torchwood, the outrageous award-winning comedy Little Britain and hit drama series Robin Hood — which premiered its second season Saturday on cable channel BBC AMERICA. During the run of the new season, Robin Hood episodes will be available on iTunes 24 hours after its premiere, Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on BBC AMERICA.

The BBC was the first UK broadcaster to offer television programs on iTunes in the UK and now offers its critically-acclaimed programming to be purchased in the U.S. for $1.99 per episode and then viewed on a Mac or PC, iPod with video, iPhone or widescreen TV with Apple TV.

Alongside the company’s existing deals with online outlets such as YouTube and MySpace, the availability of programming on iTunes brings the BBC’s content to millions of new U.S. viewers.

For more information, please visit www.bbcamerica.com and www.itunes.com.

BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The company exists to maximize the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the license payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights. The company has seven core businesses: Global Channels, Global TV Sales, Magazines, Content & Production, Home Entertainment, Global Brands and Digital Media.

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