Famed British broadcaster the BBC is planning to offer an online subscription service in the United States next year, giving Americans a new method for viewing their vast library of programs. The network will join a slew of other companies in offering so-called Over The Top (OTT) streaming services, as more and more people look for alternatives to traditional cable and satellite TV.
The network did not state specifically which shows would be available with the service but BBC director general Tony Hall promised that the offering would include content that viewers would not be able to otherwise obtain.
There is currently a cable and satellite channel on pay TV packages from the BBC called BBC America. Select BBC shows are also available on popular streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu.
It is unknown if the subscription program will only include BBC America or if it will offer an increased archive of BBC programming. Its also unclear if it will offer any live programming such as its famed news channel.
Subscription services like these are becoming more popular, as traditional cable and satellite television services continue to decline. The upcoming service offered by the BBC will give Americans another opportunity to cut the cord and transition to a less expensive on-demand service where their favorite programs are readily available.
The BBC will become one of many other OTT services when it launches. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Instant Video are already available on virtually any digital device, such as laptops, game consoles, and smartphones while smartphone giant Apple just relaunched its Apple TV product and appears set to enter the fray with its own original programming.
Due to their inexpensive monthly prices, consumers are able to easily purchase subscriptions to these services, using them to supplement one another. This creates a strong alternative to traditional cable or satellite services, which are declining in popularity because of their high monthly fees and restrictive packaging of content.
Customers simply do not want countless “filler channels”, and seem to prefer a select package of quality programming that fits their personal needs.
The BBC, as the world’s oldest national broadcasting organization, appears to appreciate this dynamic and looks ready to capitalize. It offers a massive variety of original programming and content to viewers worldwide. This latest announcement shows that the company is remaining current with the times, recognizing that customers simply don’t want to deal with cable TV any longer.