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BBC VOD gets go ahead, with restrictions

The BBC Trust has given the broadcaster’s video on demand (VOD) proposal the go ahead but has bowed to pressure from communications regulator Ofcom and imposed conditions on the project.

The BBC’s newly installed independent governing body said Wednesday its provisional conclusion is to give the go ahead for new on demand services, but subject to certain conditions and modifications.

The Trust will reach its final decision on May 2, following a consultation period.

Under the proposals, the BBC would launch a media viewing application, iPlayer, which would allow users to watch or download any BBC content from the last seven days.

Downloaded content would remain playable for 30 days after being downloaded or seven days after being watched the first time.

The move counters Ofcom’s initial complaint that ”series stacking”, whereby viewers could store and view entire series of programmes, could have an adverse impact on related markets such as DVD rentals and sales.

The BBC’s initial proposal included the ability to store programmes for up to 13 weeks.

The Trust also called for parental controls on the service so as to avoid a situation where children could become exposed to post watershed material stored on the subscriber device.

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