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BBC to launch US OTT service in 2016

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MUMBAI: BBC is planning to launch a new over-the-top (OTT) video service in the US by next year. 

 

BBC director general Tony Hall made the announcement during the Royal Television Society Convention in Cambridge.

 

"Following on from our AMC partnership in the US, we have just signed a new joint venture with Sony Multi-Screen-Media to launch a BBC Earth channel to India. And we'll begin to try out businesses that go direct to the public. Next year, we're launching a new OTT video service in America offering BBC fans programmes they wouldn't otherwise get – showcasing British actors, our programme-makers – and celebrating our culture,” Hall said.

 

He also informed that the plans would increase commercial returns from BBC Worldwide to ?1.2 billion over the next five years, more than 15 per cent higher than the returns of the previous five years.

 

While addressing the conference, Hall said that BBC would work with global partners to grow BBC Worldwide further, taking advantage of the demand for British programming and new digital opportunities with offering such as the new OTT service.

 

Hall hit back at critics, pointing out that to deliver the quality content licence fee payers should expect, the BBC needed a commercial strategy where BBC Worldwide delivers as much as possible back into public service programmes. He said that in 2014 the commercial arm was an indivisible part of the BBC and had a turnover of ?1 billion that gave the BBC a record return of ?226 million.

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