BBC takes on Netflix in the US

22/09/2015

The BBC is planning an online streaming service in America as part of an effort to raise more money from commercial sources abroad, and tap into the growing number of ‘cord-cutters’.

The new service, which could launch in 2016, will not affect agreements with other services such as Amazon and Hulu.

Lord Hall, the director-general of the BBC, said the new service would deliver programmes that are not already shown in the US.

Lord Hall said: “Next year, we’re launching a new video service in America offering BBC fans programmes they wouldn’t otherwise get; showcasing British actors, our programme-makers, and celebrating our culture.”

The BBC is aiming to increase revenues from its commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, by more than 15pc to £1.2bn by 2020. Lord Hall has said cost cuts of 20pc will be required over the next five years.

Previous attempts to make money online from foreign viewers have proved difficult. The experimental global iPlayer, which charged a subscription, was scrapped in June.

It was never launched in the US amid opposition from pay-TV operators who carry the BBC America channel.

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