Is this the future of the BBC?

Stephen Fry gave a lecture recently entitled “The Future Of Public Service Broadcasting – Some Thoughts” and it is available on a special BBC website  – The BBC And The Future Of Public Service Broadcasting.

The fact that the BBC put it on the Internet might make you think that they would like this to be read, seen and listened to  by a large, global audience.

So, you can read the transcript:

Stephen Fry and The Future Of The BBC Transcript

Watch the video:

Stephen Fry and The Future Of The BBC Video

Listen to the aud… – ooooooops!!!!!!!!! No audio:

Stephen Fry and The Future Of The BBC Audio

It’s blocked to non-UK Internet users.

The BBC iPlayer is the name for the on-demand service and also the software used for the media player.

The service uses GeoIP software to block users outside the UK from accessing the iPlayer on-demand content. They are also integrating the iPlayer software as the embedded  media player across the site.

So, they have a service which blocks IP addresses to on-demand content, software which acts as a front-end to this service and is also the embedded media player for the website.

Result – cross-infection.

So which of these is the future of the BBC – both audio and video should be blocked? Audio shouldn’t be blocked? Audio, video and transcript should be blocked?

Or, to make things a bit more surreal, could it be the case that the video shouldn’t be blocked but it should be re-dubbed with, say, Gerry Adams reading the transcript?

And if you’re wondering if this is a one off – the previous lecture by David Attenborough is exactly the same:
David Attenborough and The Future Of The BBC Audio

Also, why the BBC Parliament feed isn’t expiring after 7 day iPlayer window is a mystery to me. Has something changed since Tom Loosemore pointed this (rights-free) issue out previously?

As for the Stephen Fry lecture itself and what he had to say – more on that to follow.

3 responses

  1. […] Walsh under BBC, Stephen Fry, The Future Of Public Service Broadcasting   Following on from a previous post, Stephen Fry gave a lecture recently entitled “The Future Of Public Service Broadcasting – Some […]

  2. Simon Davenport | Reply

    BBC Parliament show a lot of repeats. Each time a show is aired it is available for another 7 days on the IPlayer.

    News and Radio will not be blocked internationally. If they’re blocked now, then this is a teething problem.

  3. Simon,

    I assumed the same thing but then I had a look on the BBC /programmes website.

    The David Attenborough and Stephen Fry Briefings broadcasts (and repeats) from BBC Parliament are as follows:
    David Attenborough – Original broadcast – offline
    David Attenborough – Repeat broadcast – offline

    (strangely the URL for both is the same – which makes things even more interesting – as every programme is supposed to get it’s own unique URL – here for the May 4th page and link and here for the 3rd May page and link.)

    Stephen Fry – Original broadcast – online for 3 more days
    Stephen Fry – Repeat broadcast – offline

    Also, if they were using the repeats to keep the programme online then they would need to change the website to update to the latest programme broadcast – which still wouldn’t work for the David Attenborough programme as the last broadcast on the /programmes website is the 4th of May, which puts it outside the 7 day window.

    As for the blocking issue – it’s not a News or Radio issue – it’s a bug in the iPlayer software.

    There is no logical reason why the audio is blocked – but it is a reflection on some of the hoops the BBC is jumping through to keep the geographically rights restricted content within the IP ranges for the UK which has the unfortunate side effect of affecting non geographcally rights restricted content (and makes the BBC look a bit silly).

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