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Bennett unveils global iPlayer plan, new international channels

The international version of the BBC’s iPlayer will be “a very different proposition” to the domestic version, BBC Worldwide’s Jana Bennett will tell delegates at the Banff World Media Festival in Canada later today.  

In her first speech as president of worldwide networks and global iPlayer, Bennett will explain that the international version of the online on-demand platform will launch initially as a pilot iPad app, with western European launches expected first as part of a “careful and measured” launch.

Bennett will tell the audience that the global iPlayer will create editorially-curated collections across genres including music, comedy, factual, natural history, children’s programmes and other genres. “The freedom from catch-up means that we’ve got a lot more flexibility in terms of what we put on there and how we present it. In overseas markets where the whole gamut of the BBC’s linear broadcast isn’t available then applying the on-demand model we have in the UK doesn’t make sense,” Bennett said.

Bennett will also highlight evidence that shows the global iPlayer will complement BBC Worldwide’s international channels rather than cannibalise them.

Bennett will also use her speech to unveil plans to grow BBC Worldwide’s portfolio of channels. She will unveil possible designs for a new BBC Earth channel, the name given to its umbrella brand for the BBC’s flagship natural history content.

Bennett will also confirm plans to launch a new, premium HD service in a number of territories, using the new channel as a home for first-run scripted and landmark factual programmes.

She will also confirm plans to launch a version of the existing BBC HD channel in Latin America.

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