BBC outlines online strategy

MUMBAI: Speaking at the MIX06 conference in Las Vegas, the director of the BBC's new media and technology division Ashley Highfield, outlined the public broadcaster's online strategy.

At the Microsoft-organized event for web developers, designers and business professionals, Highfield stressed that the BBC has to be technologically innovative, and key to that strategy is working with partners like Microsoft.

Highfield said, "We have a duty of universality. So it's vital that we innovate through a number of strategic partnerships with technology companies and distributors such as Microsoft, Apple, Sony, Homechoice, NTL and Telewest. Both the BBC and Microsoft are ultimately looking for ways to empower our audiences; to put them in control, and in this we have an alignment of strategic objectives."

He added, "The challenge is to create an end-to-end infrastructure for all our programming, to deliver content to all our audiences in the most cost-effective, simple and flexible way possible. The last ten yards of railway track-seamless delivery from the PC to the TV-is still to be built within the home."

Highfield also used the keynote to showcase BBC's iMP (Integrated Media Player), which just completed a five-month trial. The technology allows users to download programs onto their PCs and is "aimed at putting our audience in the driving seat," he said.

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