When first announced the BBC's now undeniably fantastic iPlayer was considered as being, well, perhaps a tad ambitious. Compared to the latest proposals discussed by BBC Director of Vision, Jana Bennett, at the Banff World Television Festival in, oddly enough, Banff to allow access to every piece of the BBCs 81 years' worth of archived content, though, the iPlayer was a decidedly apathetic effort.
The intention is that the BBC will expand on the popularity of iPlayer's enabling of BBC viewers to access content already broadcast and eventually have a page for each programme in its back-catalogue. Bennett explained that:
"iPlayer is only the beginning of the story. Because when that iPlayer moment is over, the programme disappears and we are still having to apologise to the audience. And yet those programmes do still exist and increasingly may be available elsewhere on the web...
That fact formed part of the thinking behind this - a permanent page for every episode of every programme the BBC has ever broadcast."
It seems that the BBC is gradually cottoning onto the idea that once its programmes are broadcast, be that via terrestrial TV, Sky or the iPlayer, they are in effect committed to the public domain - whether that is the Beeb's desire or not. Given this fact, the BBC may as well make this content available officially.
Radio won't be left out either, which is hardly surprising seeing as the Listen Again service launched some five years prior to the iPlayer. Assuming the BBC can pull this off it will be a truly commendable achievement - and an example of the License Fee well spent.