Exclusive: BBC ‘supports’ iPlayer becoming portable across Europe

The EU just announced plans to make streaming services ‘portable’ across Europe – but what about BBC iPlayer?

The BBC says it is behind new proposals to remove borders for European content providers.

Speaking to TrustedReviews, a BBC spokesperson said “we are supportive [of the proposals]”.

He also told us that “there are challenges around it, but overall we’re pretty positive”, despite not being “forced” to comply.

While services like Netflix, Now TV, and Amazon Prime Instant Video could be mandated to offer seamless service for EU users, the BBC iPlayer doesn’t have to follow suit.

That’s because “the BBC is publicly funded; users don’t need to log in to access iPlayer”, and that it is a “unique” service, the spokesperson explained.

The BBC also provided us with a statement, which reads as follows:

“We are interested in being able to allow UK licence-fee payers to access BBC iPlayer while they are on holiday in the EU, and welcome the European Commission proposing regulation to help make this possible.”

It continues:

“Being able to offer BBC iPlayer also depends on the UK government implementing legislation to modernise the licence fee to include video on demand as well as linear viewing, something the government has committed to do next year.”

Related: Netflix vs Amazon Prime Instant Video

The European Commission announced the new plans earlier today, writing:

“At present, Europeans travelling within the EU may be cut off from online services providing films, sports, broadasts, music, e-books or games that they have paid for in their home country.”

The new regulations will resolve this issue by letting vendors sell content across the EU under a single set of copyright rules.

Once adopted, all 28 EU member states will be compelled to comply with the regulations to “ensure the portability of content across borders”.

The EU hopes the regulations will be “a reality in 2017”.

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