Skip to main content

BBC iPlayer launches in 11 countries

iplayerBrits have been using the phenomenally popular service for nearly four years, but from Thursday 11 other countries will be able to see what all the fuss is about.

We’re talking about the BBC iPlayer, an on-demand broadband television and radio service that allows viewers to watch programming broadcast by the BBC for up to seven days after it has been aired.

Related Videos

According to a Guardian report, the service will be available through an iPad app to 11 countries in western Europe (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland). Later in the year the service will also be launched in the US, Canada and Australia as part of a one-year pilot scheme.

The service will differ slightly for international users compared to those in the UK – some content will be offered for free (supported by advertising), but to gain full access, users will be encouraged to take out a subscription for €6.99 a month or €49.99 a year. Considering that in the UK every household in possession of a TV has to pay an annual license fee of £145.50 (€165), the fee for overseas users of the iPlayer looks pretty reasonable.

So what will you get for your money? More BBC content than you’ll ever have time to watch, by the sounds of it.

Speaking to the Guardian, Luke Bradley-Jones, managing director of, outlined a difference with the UK iPlayer: “This is not a catch-up service: this is a video-on-demand service. We will have content from the last month, but also the best from the catalogue stretching back 50 to 60 years.”

He continued: “What we’re trying to test in the pilot is the ability to drive exploration and discovery through a programming approach rather than an algorithm-based approach. We’re not trying to compete against a Netflix or a Hulu. This has to be tailored and hand-crafted, so we can create a tone of voice.”

Besides the ability to browse genres of programming, users will also be presented with themed collections, such as all the Doctor Who series based on which Doctor was playing the role at the time.

Mark Smith, launch director of the global iPlayer, said, “There is at least 1,500 hours of content there from day one, and it will be growing by at least 100 hours a month going forward.”

The iPad app will allow users to stream programs over 3G as well Wi-Fi, and to download for later viewing offline.

On the subject of the global iPlayer becoming available on other mobile devices, Bradley-Jones had this to say: “We hope that this service becomes multi-device, multi-platform and multi-territory over time, but as a premium-but-niche service, we did not want to go in with both feet from day one.”

The iPlayer is a big hit with users in the UK, who can watch TV programs and listen to radio shows on mobile devices, PCs and through many TV sets. In March of this year the iPlayer received 160 million requests for TV and radio shows, an increase of 12 million on the month before.

Editors' Recommendations

Apple iPad Pro 11-inch (2022) vs. iPad Air (2022)
Apple iPad Pro 2022 with Apple Pencil user feat image.

Even the closest observers would have a tough time distinguishing between Apple's iPad updates year over year, and that's the case with the new 11-inch iPad Pro 2022, which is identical to several previous models. While there have been some minor tweaks over time to the iPad Air, the fifth-generation iPad Air tablet is also identical to its predecessor. While some may chide Apple for its adherence to visual tradition, most users give a thumbs up to a familiar design that works well.

When it comes to the iPad's underlying hardware and software, that's where Apple readily tosses out the old and rings in the new. Each year, new iPads fresh off the assembly line get loaded with technical improvements invisible to the eye, but obvious in the hand. From upgraded processors and networking components to new Apple Pencil support and performance improvements, paired with operating system upgrades, the 2022 Apple tablets continue to keep users in Apple's orbit.

Read more
The best iPhone 11 wallet cases and covers
Apple iPhone 11: A visual review.

If you're not a fan of Apple's latest models or just want to save money by buying an older version, the iPhone 11 continues to be a solid option. Combined with a wide range of color options, its curves made a big impression when they first appeared in 2019, while the phone itself was as usable and useful as anything Apple had released up to that point.

Of course, while the device’s use of Gorilla Glass for its screen and rear made it more durable than previous models, it wasn’t — and still isn’t — impervious to damage. Fortunately, we’ve put together a list of the best iPhone 11 wallet cases and covers you can buy right now. These range from the affordable to the more elaborate and deluxe, with anything in between thrown in for good measure. Regardless of your particular tastes, you should be able to find something that pleases here.

Read more
The best iPhone 11 screen protectors for 2022
iPhone 11

For those seeking a somewhat cheaper Apple smartphone, the older flagship Apple iPhone 11 is worth considering. While it lacks the triple-lens camera and OLED display of its more expensive or newer cousins, the iPhone 11’s combination of power, beauty, and a lower price tag makes it an alternative first-choice iPhone for many. But the iPhone 11’s beauty is a fragile thing, and it’s easy to see how the glass body and display can be scuffed, dinged, or shattered. A protective iPhone case can add plenty of protection, but the screen on its own is the most critical aspect of operation.

That’s where a dedicated iPhone screen protector comes in. Whether thin film or tough tempered glass, a good screen protector shields your iPhone screen from damage while not restricting touch sensitivity or the clarity of your display. Here are some of the best iPhone 11 screen protectors we’ve found so far.

Read more