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BBC Store enables digital TV show purchases

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BBC Store

The BBC has launched a new service called BBC Store, which acts as a digital storefront for a wide range of classic TV shows.

Of course, the BBC iPlayer is going from strength to strength, offering a slick way to stream BBC TV content. However, there are inherent restrictions in the way it does things.

You don't own the programmes you watch, and content expires within 30 days of airing.

The BBC Store is a return to a more traditional way of obtaining BBC content - buying it. Of course, rather than DVDs and video tapes (remember them?), here you're streaming or downloading the shows to your computer or mobile device.

New TV shows should go up for purchase by 1am the following day, but the real appeal here will be classic content that's been difficult to obtain before now.

Prices are pretty normal, with individual episodes starting from £1.89 and your average UK TV series (which typically runs to around six episodes long) at £7.99.

BBC Store isn't just a stand-alone storefront, either. The BBC is also adding 'Places to buy' links to its iPlayer, offering you a chance to buy classic TV content that might not even be available to stream for free on the service.

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Also, buying content from the BBC Store will make it available to watch through the iPlayer website. Support for the feature will be added to the mobile iPlayer apps soon, and TV apps next year.

You'll find your freshly obtained BBC Store content in a new 'Purchased' section under the My Programmes tab of iPlayer.

There are around 7,000 hours of TV available through the BBC Store at launch, and the BBC says it's adding new content all the time.

Sunil Chauhan

November 5, 2015, 10:23 am

Great, so the BBC are going to charge us to watch and own content we've already paid for through out TV licence. Whilst I understand that the BBC should charge those that do not pay TV licence, those of us that do, should be provided with this content for free and not via the iPlayer.

Zubeir

November 5, 2015, 10:32 am

They should be free to the UK TV licence holder.

Damian

November 5, 2015, 12:49 pm

Allowing access to the back catalogue is complicated. Amongst other things the BBC may have to pay repeat fees to both actors and producers. While newer contracts will take streaming and repeats into account, contracts for older programs need to be renegotiated. With these costs and the costs in digitising older content the BBC had to decide, with a decreasing budget, how it could afford to provide access to some of the back catalogue. This is something that the BBC has been wrestling with for several years and have now decided to provide these programs (which is great for the shows not previously available) but pass some of the costs on. It's unrealistic to expect the BBC to put all the back catalogue online for free without the costs of this having a huge impact on the rest of the BBCs services.

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