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The BBC is on Thursday launching BBC Store, a new digital service designed to allow people to buy and keep programs from the U.K. public broadcaster.
Starting Thursday morning, people in the U.K. will be able to visit bbcstore.com to register and start using the service.
“For over 30 years selected BBC programs have been available to buy — first on VHS, then DVD and more recently on digital download platforms,” said the BBC. “Now, as more viewing shifts to digital, BBC Store allows audiences to choose from a selection of recently broadcast programs; television favorites and lost gems from the BBC archive, making it the most comprehensive collection of BBC programs ever published.”
TV viewers can access BBC Store on the BBC iPlayer VOD service, which will show purchased shows in a new My Programs area. Despite the new service launch, BBC iPlayer will continue to offer the same range of shows to watch live, or for catch-up and download for up to 30 days for free.
The launch of BBC Store is part of the BBC’s ambition to raise more commercial revenue to supplement the license fee that U.K. taxpayers pay for it.
The BBC Store promises “the most comprehensive range available anywhere of the very best of BBC drama, comedy and factual programs,” with more content to be added over time.
Among popular BBC content available on the BBC Store are Doctor Who, Sherlock, Top Gear, recent dramas The Fall and Poldark, David Attenborough’s natural history programs and such children’s shows as Sarah & Duck.
New exclusive content will include offers for Top Gear fans, such as Top Gear: The Races, in which Matt LeBlanc guides viewers through the most memorable moments from the show’s racing archive.
Programs available to buy for the first time ever include the plays Alice, Schmoedipus, A Beast With Two Backs, Traitor, Follow the Yellow Brick Road and Double Dare by Dennis Potter, and The Frost Interviews, in which legendary interviewer David Frost talked to high-profile individuals.
Popular shows that the BBC Store will make available to own digitally for the first time include Morecambe & Wise and Dad’s Army, The Railway Children and classic episodes of factual series.
Bal Samra, the BBC’s commercial director, said: “BBC Store will make more of the treasure trove of BBC programs available than ever before. This is a result of a collaborative partnership that the BBC has led, bringing together the whole of the creative industry and BBC Worldwide, and which will establish a route to sustainable commercial returns to more of the sector.”
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