BBC Inks IPTV Deal With MySpace

January 30, 2008 0

The venerable British network will make “The Mighty Boosh, Robin Hood and Top Gear” content available on the social networking site…

MySpace has entered into a partnership with BBC Worldwide, which will allow MySpaceTV viewers to view, embed and virtually share short video clips from popular programs distributed on the social networking site owned by News Corp.

Under the terms of the deal, current and archived video content from the BBC will be made available via the MySpace video platform.


This is first time MySpaceTV has linked up with a major broadcaster, although BBC Worldwide has previously signed a similar deal with video sharing site YouTube.

“Execs at the TV station hope to win new viewers.”

From 24 January, shows will include surreal comedy show ‘The Mighty Boosh’ as well as ‘Doctor Who’, ‘Robin Hood’ and ‘Top Gear’.

The link between a company from within Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate and the UK state broadcaster, often billed as his particular bête noire, might be expected to excite comment but was played down by the two organizations on Wednesday.

“MySpace is recognized as the largest social networking site and this partnership continues our strategy of putting BBC content where audiences watch video online,” said Simon Danker, director of digital media at BBC Worldwide.

Danker shrugged off previous clashes with News Corp, including Murdoch’s decision to remove the broadcaster’s “World Service TV” channel from his Star TV network in China in 1994 in an effort to gain acceptance by the Chinese leadership.

“The breadth of content we bring to this deal means that MySpace users will be able to find a favorite clip to put on their profiles and share with friends, whether that is a Top Gear stunt or something a bit different from The Mighty Boosh.”

“Danker said the partnership continues the Beeb’s strategy of putting content where audiences are increasingly spending time.”

“People spend so much time living on their profile pages and that is where they will do most of the viewing and sharing of our content,” he said.

He said it will put BBC content in front of new audiences around the world and help promote material which will be available on the multi-broadcaster platform Kangaroo.

Travis Katz, managing director of MySpace’s international division, said: “We have a very positive relationship, very similar ideas of what we want to get out of this. I think it is a deal we are quite excited about and do not anticipate any conflict, frankly.”

Content will include classic moments such as Robbie Williams and Russell Crowe being interviewed on Parkinson, and some breathtaking clips from Sir David Attenborough’s natural history series.

Also available will be highlights from series such as Doctor Who, Robin Hood and Torchwood, as well as sketches from The Catherine Tate Show and Red Dwarf.

“With this deal our users can watch their favorites’ clips, post them to their profile and share them with other members of the community quickly, easily and legally,” said Katz.

“This is the first global network deal for MySpaceTV, and we believe it is the future of collaboration between the web and networks around the globe.”

The deal will involve three-minute clips from programs such as Top Gear and Doctor Who appearing on MySpace. The two companies will share advertising revenue, but declined to discuss the financial terms agreed.

MySpace makes most of its revenues from advertising and sponsorship. After YouTube, MySpace is the second-largest video website but with advertising increasing online – $1.3bn in 2007 – the group wants to strike more content deals.

“The service will be available in 27 international territories, seven languages and reach almost 110 million global users. BBC content will appear from 24 January on Myspace.”

The BBC also has a deal for 10 channels to run on Sky in the UK, two on TataSky in India, and one on Starhub in Singapore, through its UKTV joint venture with Virgin Media.

“The BBC is one of the worlds most recognized and trusted television brands with fantastic content,” said Katz.

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