The BBC already broadcasts many of its shows on the BBC America channel here in the US, such as “Doctor Who” and “Orphan Black,” but today Reuters said the British network will launch an over-the-top (OTT) streaming service that will offer programs not currently available in the Americas.
Details of specific shows and content were not revealed by the BBC, but the service is expected to provide a much-needed revenue stream for the public broadcasting network.
Reuters said the streaming service would come at a time when the future of the BBC is uncertain, as Conservatives have “embarked on the biggest review of the broadcaster in at least a decade, questioning its purpose, funding, size, Internet activities and even entertainment output.”
Depending on the outcome, Britain’s Conservative Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport John Whittingdale has spoken of selling off BBC Worldwide, the commercial subsidiary of BBC.
The BBC already has a streaming product called iPlayer that’s available in about a dozen European countries, but it’s unclear as to whether or not the iPlayer would be the service offered in the US. It would make sense though, since the service is already readily available on multiple platforms including iOS, Android, game consoles, media players, and through web browsers on PCs.
BBC America is jointly owned by BBC Worldwide and AMC Networks, and is available with most television service providers in approximately 80 million homes in the US.