Television

Roly Keating is BBC director of archive content

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MUMBAI: UK pubcaster BBC has announced that Roly Keating has been appointed as its first ever Director of Archive Content with responsibility for maximising public access to the BBC's constantly expanding archive of television, radio and multimedia content.

Currently BBC Two controller, Keating is promoted to the BBC Direction Group, and will take up his role in October. He will report to Jana Bennett, Director of BBC Vision.

In this new role, Keating will take the lead across all of the BBC's divisions in developing and implementing a pan-BBC strategy to grow archive access, working across public service and commercial platforms, and with external partners.

He will work with Erik Huggers, the BBC's new Director of Future Media & Technology, to set the editorial and strategic priorities for archive digitisation and public access to programme information.

Within Vision, Keating will have editorial responsibility for the release and management of BBC Vision's catch-up and archive content on all platforms, including the BBC iPlayer, UKTV and other on-demand or commercial services, working closely with Simon Nelson, Controller, Portfolio & Multiplatform.

For other BBC divisions, Keating will agree the overall editorial strategy for archive release.

Says BBC DG Mark Thompson, "The BBC has the largest audio-visual archive in the world. We want to make sure there is greater public access to this archive, whilst also ensuring the archive is fully exploited for the benefit of licence payers.

"Keating is passionate about the potential of the Archive and, with his fantastic track record as a programme maker and channel controller, he is ideally placed to lead this exciting project."

BBC Vision director Jana Bennett said, "As we move further into the age of on-demand, the BBC's programmes have a much longer editorial life after their initial transmission, and planning the audience journey after transmission on our channels will further benefit licence fee payers.

"Keating has successfully run three of our public service channels in recent years and his pioneering work setting up UKTV means he brings huge experience of the television portfolio and BBC programmes.

"He has also overseen a wonderful resurgence of BBC Two over the past four years so he will be handing over BBC Two as the only terrestrial channel to gain reach and share in peak this year. This is a good time to bring his strategic vision and TV experience to bear on the on-demand world."

Keating said, "Unlocking the value of broadcast archives is one of the great opportunities opened up by digital media – and the BBC has the greatest archive of them all, with untold potential public value. This is an exciting and daunting challenge, but there's a really simple idea at its heart: giving people the chance to enjoy and engage with great programmes and content, whenever and wherever they were first broadcast."

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