BBC working on IPTV-focused content

A BBC executive suggested on March 13 that IPTV operators are forgetting
the need to develop more exciting content.

The BBC, the UK’s main public broadcaster, is currently riding the crest of a glorious new media wave, helped by 10 to 11 million users watching BBCi, the Beeb’s broadcast interactive services, each week, and phenomenal demand for its sexy new iPlayer download service. IPlayer is now being accessed by a staggering half million streams and downloads a day – and choking the UK’s broadband networks in the process!

Rahul Chakkara is the BBC’s controller of TV platforms, and speaking at the IPTV World Forum in London on March 13, he urged IPTV operators not to ignore the supply of unique content. “When I look at the IPTV plays in this market, and others, I am left wondering about the USP. From a consumer’s point of view, instead of a technology point of view. To be honest, at present, it feels more like a substitution offering, and not all that exciting.”

Chakkara stressed that he believes in the long-term potential of IPTV, and “the future is bright, but it needs a USP for the consumer. The USP has to be based on the reason people sit in front of the TV in the first place: exciting content.”

He said that products like the iPlayer were one step in providing extra material for IPTV operators in the UK (and via BBC Worldwide in other parts of the globe). “But there needs to be much more,” he argued. “We would have liked to do more but we are restricted by limited bandwidth. With more bandwidth we can use a mix of interactivity, localness, connectivity and personalisation. Some of these ideas will be adapted from the web, others will be completely new. We are working on a range of these ideas that will exploit the power of IP features, and deliver some compelling audience propositions.”

Chakkara said that IP would “transform television, however we also believe the industry needs to focus more on content, and not technology. We will be doing our work with partners in the industry. We welcome your collaboration.”