There have been a lot of instances recently of television networks trying to expand into the online space but today's latest example is a little more unusual.
The BBC has signed a deal with YouTube – not, as you might think, to provide it with content which can be streamed all over the globe – to fill it full of advertising and not sue it over stolen programming.
Ultimately what this translates to is the Beeb offering previews and trailers from its channels to YouTube via an exclusive portal and should it come across say, an episode of EastEnders *shudder*, it will not order the rip to be removed but it does have the option to provide a higher quality version.
The reason for this convoluted deal is the controversial Licence Fee – which all Brits are charged each year in exchange for self funded, advertisement free, neutral broadcasting. Pushing clips onto YouTube enables Auntie to expand its global reach but remain true to its assertion that only licence fee payers get the full shebang.
I'll leave you with the carefully chosen words of Ashley Highfield, the Beeb's Director of Future Media and Technology, who explained the deal is "not about distributing content like full-length programmes; YouTube is a promotional vehicle for us." And on the subject of illegally hosted BBC content: "We don't want to be overzealous, a lot of the material on YouTube is good promotional content for us."
So get ripping guys n gals...