Reports have the BBC and Google in very high-level talks about Google hosting BBC programs on YouTube, a sort of international version of the BBC’s remarkably successful on-demand service, iPlayer – which only allows TV programs to be seen again in the UK at present.
YouTube does have some BBC clips, but, if it works out, this could mark a significant advance. However, a BBC statement pointed out that international rights clearance would be an obstacle:
"These obstacles present significant difficulties and for this reason there are no firm plans for a specific international BBC iPlayer."
Meanwhile, Google said:
"The BBC is one of YouTube’s oldest partners and for over two years we’ve worked with various parts of the BBC to support the distribution, promotion and monetization of their content. However, we never comment on this kind of rumor and speculation."
Whether it all comes to fruition remains to be seen. But for those who like what the BBC shows, it’s a fingers-crossed kind of development.